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After Dera episode: Hisar court to announce verdict in cases against ‘godman’ Rampal today

In 2014, Rampal Dass holed up inside his sprawling ashram in Haryana and thousands of his followers fought off security personnel for a week. Six died in the siege.

india Updated: Aug 29, 2017 10:30 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Rampal,Godman Rampal,Spiritual guru
Devotees of self-styled godman Rampal Maharaj.(AFP File Photo)

A Hisar court is likely to deliver the verdict in connection with the two cases against self-styled godman Rampal Dass, the head of Satlok Ashram in Barwala, and his followers on Tuesday.

The verdict will be pronounced by Judicial Magistrate Hisar Mukesh Kumar.

A case was registered against Rampal and his followers three years back under IPC sections 186 (obstructing public servant in discharge of his public function), 332 (voluntarily causing hurt to deter public servant from his duty) and 353 (assault or use of criminal force to deter a public servant from discharging his duty).

Another case was registered against Rampal and his followers -- Purshotam Dass, Raj Kumar, Mohinder Singh, Rajender Singh, Rahul and 30-40 other persons -- on a complaint of Sukhdev Singh of Ratia (Fatehabad) under IPC sections 147 (rioting), 149 (unlawful assembly, every other member of such assembly shall be guilty of the offence), 188 (disobedient to an order lawfully promulgated by a public servant) and 342 (wrongfully confining any person).

In November 2014, Rampal Dass holed up inside his sprawling, 12-acre ashram in Haryana and tens of thousands of his followers — armed with stones and clubs — fought off an army of police and paramilitary personnel from arresting him. After a week-long stand-off and the deaths of six people at the Satlok Ashram, police nabbed Rampal on an arrest warrant issued for repeatedly ignoring court summons.

The episode triggered new cases against the so-called godman, including for murder, attempted murder, sedition, rioting and illegal detention.

Rampal considers himself an incarnation of the 15th-century poet Kabir.

The ashram was guarded by hundreds of followers for several days. Police fired water canon and lathi-charged the supporters who were armed with stones, petrol bombs among other weapons.

Some followers later came out of the ashram, saying they had been held at the ashram against their will.

The verdict comes a day after Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh was sentenced to 20 years in jail and fined Rs 30 lakh for raping two women disciples. At least 36 died in clashes that erupted in Haryana and Punjab after a CBI court convicted him of rape.

(With PTI inputs)

First Published: Aug 29, 2017 10:26 IST