In second consecutive second day of intense search at Barwala’s infamous Satlok Ashram in Hisar district, the police on Saturday seized 28 submersible pumps.
Sources in the police said that these sets were sufficient to ensure uninterrupted water supply for the people inside the dera in the event of any siege of the kind that is on. The special investigation team (SIT) on Saturday caught three more people who were hiding inside the ashram. They are Laxman Das and Mahesh Das of Madhya Pradesh, and Ajay Das of Uttar Pradesh.
The people caught on Friday were Yaadram of Jakhli in Badaun district of Uttar Pradesh; Ravi of Kharati in Chhattisgarh; and Ramesh of Dhani Sillanwali in Bhiwani district of Haryana. On Friday, the police had also found an unconscious woman locked up in a bathroom and moved her to the general hospital in Rohtak.
On the second day of the search, the investigators seized Rs 2 lakh cash in one of the rooms of the musclemen of dera head Rampal Dass. The team also found a diesel dump of about 700 litres and said that the ashram management had enough stock of fuel, water and food to lastseveral days.
The police authorities have roped in residents of the villages adjoining the ashram for the search operation that may take another few days to finish.
In a press release issued here, Hisar inspector general of police Anil Kumar Rao said the SIT had also seized a bulletproof SUV (sports utility vehicle) during the search on Saturday.
Besides a bus, a gypsy and two tractor-trailers,the SIT also impounded 82 motorcycles that belonged to Rampal’s followers. A tanker filled with about 1,200-litre kerosene was also found, besides four computer hard discs. In compliance with the Punjab and Haryana high court orders, the food and supplies department had on Friday disposed of the huge amount of eatables recovered during the search. Two 14-foot-deep water tanks will have to be cleared for scanning. 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.
A surprise find was a pregnancy-test strip in a room adjacent to the bed chamber of Rampal.