The Punjab and Haryana high court may have given respite to self-styled godman Rampal after it issued fresh non-bailable warrants of arrest against him for November 17, but his followers continued their aggressive posture and sought action against “corrupt” judges instead.
The HC had directed state government to produce Rampal in the court in a contempt case on Monday, but owing to a large gathering of his followers at the self-style godman’s Satlok Ashram at Barwala in Hisar, he could not be arrested. In a new development, contingent of Haryana Police and paramilitary force moved closer to Satlok Ashram — from the Hisar headquarters to Barwala police station.
Hisar SSP Satender Gupta told HT that they had adopted a wait and watch policy, as one of the accused, Ram Kumar Dhaka, head of National Social Service Committee, an offshoot of the ashram, was produced in the court, while Rampal had deposited its medical certificate.
As media teams reached the ashram on Monday, the gun-wielding youth who had assembled to prevent arrest of Rampal were missing from the scene, while women and children were chanting Rampal’s name.
Sources said the change in strategy was done to give the gathering a protest-like look against the “system” rather than a dissent against the judiciary.
Nirmala Devi, a working woman, sitting in the front row of protesters said judiciary has “misused” its powers in issuing non-bailable warrants of arrest against Rampal.
The HC decision to give time till November 17 to execute NBWs against Rampal and to produce him in the court has brought a sigh of relief to the district administration and law enforcement agencies. It has equally brought cheer to the self-styled godman’s camp.
Raj Kapoor, a spokesperson of the ashram, said the satsang has culminated. Some of the devotees have already proceeded for their homes, while thousands have chosen to stay back, he added. “There was no compulsion on anyone for staying back. Devotees can stay here as long as they want,” he added.