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Rohtak admn demolishes jailed ‘godman’ Rampal’s ashram, followers angry

Rampal’s disciples had been building ashram for followers who have to come to Rohtak and Hisar to attend court hearings in cases registered against them during the Barwala violence of 2014.

punjab Updated: Dec 09, 2017 12:37 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Rohtak
Rohtak,Rampal,Barwala violence
The makeshift ashram after the demolition in Rohtak on Friday. (HT Photo)

The Rohtak administration on Friday demolished the makeshift ashram of jailed self-styled godman Rampal at Singhpura village in the district, leading to anger among his followers who called the move undemocratic.

Rampal’s disciples had been building his ashram to accommodate hundreds of his followers who have to come to Rohtak and Hisar several times to attend court hearings in the cases registered against them during the Barwala violence of 2014.

“We received a notice day before yesterday and were in the process of filing a reply. But a team of the district town planner reached at the ashram on Friday morning all of a sudden and demolished everything without giving us any warning. This is wrong since the government has allowed even Ram Rahim’s dera in Sirsa to reopen,” said Rajesh Das, a follower.

He said the followers who were present at the ashram were taken in police custody and released later.

However, by Friday evening, the followers had erected a waterproof tent once again at the same site.

Rohtak district town planner Neelam Sharma maintained they had served two show-cause notices to the ashram in advance, warning of illegal construction along national highway. “When no satisfactory response was received from the respondents, the demolition exercise was carried out,” Sharma said, adding that she had no knowledge of the followers building tents at the site again.

Rampal, a controversial self-styled godman, was arrested from his ashram in Hisar’s Barwala in 2014 after a much-hyped drama of several days. The self-styled godman faces cases of murder and sedition despite being acquitted in two criminal cases recently.

First Published: Dec 09, 2017 12:36 IST