A huge cache of arms and ammunition, a pregnancy-test strip, petrol bombs, acid syringes, and a chilli grenade are among the items seized from Satlok Ashram in Barwala after the arrest of its head, Rampal Dass.
The special investigation team (SIT) of Haryana Police declared the seized items on Friday and took into custody three people whom it found to be hiding on the premises. The search operation will continue on Saturday.
Hisar inspector general of police Anil Kumar Rao told the media that the team had seized three 0.32-bore revolvers, 19 air guns, two double-barrel 0.12 bore guns, two 0.315 bore rifles, 28 live cartridges of 0.32 bore gun, 50 live cartridges of 0.12-bore rifle, and 25 live cartridges of 0.315-bore gun, besides the chili grenade, acid syringes, helmets and sticks.
It has found 20 pairs of black dresses and two tanks filled with 800 litres of diesel. A surprise find was a pregnancy-test strip in a room adjacent to the bed chamber of Rampal. Petrol bombs, packets of chili powder, catapults, two empty cartridges, a cushion bed and other king-size beds were found later in the day.
The three people caught hiding in the ashram are Yaadram of Jakhli in Badaun district of Uttar Pradesh, Ravi of Kharati in Chhattisgarh, and Ramesh of Dhani Sillanwali in Bhiwani district of Haryana. The police also found an unconscious woman locked up in a bathroom and moved her to general hospital here. She is Bijlesh of Ashok Nagar village in Madhya
In compliance with the Punjab and Haryana high court orders, The food and supplies department disposed of the huge amount of eatables recovered during the search. The IG said that the search operation would take a few days more to finish, since the ashram is spread over a vast area. To 14-foot-deep water tanks will have to be cleared for a complete search.
Seven additional cases are now registered against Rampal and some of his followers remanded in police custody for five days. The police have arrested 865 accused under similar charges and secured the custody of nine others.
When the police had moved in to arrest Rampal on Monday, his army of “commandos” had fire upon the personnel, injuring several of them.
Maoist link to be probed
Rao said that the alleged Maoist links of Rampal would also be investigated. “We have sent the list of some of the arrested people to the Chhatisgarh administration to verify if they have anything to do with Naxalite militancy,” he added.
Hard disc missing
Rao said the hard discs of footage from the surveillance cameras installed at the ashram was missing and a hunt for it was on. “It can be a vital clue against Rampal and his aides,” he added.