Barwala: The district and police administration on Monday faced an uphill task in dispersing 'godman' Rampal's followers, including a large number of women and children, who had pitched camp at his Satlok Ashram here.
The authorities asked the devotees, who have been sitting in and around the Ashram, to disperse and help them comply with the Punjab and Haryana High Court directive to produce him before it by Friday in the wake of fresh warrants.
Hisar SP Satender Kumar Gupta used a loud speaker to make an appeal to his followers outside the Ashram.
"Those who wish to go home, we will drop you to the railway station, bus stand or facilitate in whatever way we can," Gupta told the followers, who formed a human chain to thwart any attempt to arrest the controversial figure.
Outside the Ashram, women followers raised slogans in Rampal's favour and appeared to be in a defiant mood.
Official sources said authorities were wary of the possibility of a violent backlash by the followers, who were still present in large numbers inside the Ashram and might be carrying lathis, sharp edged weapons and even crude bombs.
Besides, there is an army of armed private commandos of the 'godman' inside the Ashram.
Aerial surveillance was also being done to keep an eye on the situation.
DSP, Barwala, Rajbir Singh said police was at the job and asking the followers to disperse in a peaceful manner.
"Since there are a number of women and children present at the site, we are treading with caution. But we are committed to execute the court orders," he said.
Hisar District Magistrate ML Kaushik in an order asked all the followers, including women and children, to disperse immediately.
An official spokesman said in Hisar that the administration would press into service buses to transport the followers to the bus stand and the railway station for their onward journey.
The followers have also been asked not to be a hurdle in the judicial process against Rampal who failed to appear before the Punjab and Haryana High Court in Chandigarh today in a contempt case citing ill-health.
Earlier, Ashram spokesman Raj Kapoor had claimed that Rampal was taken to a hospital at an undisclosed place for medical treatment.
Situation remained tense in and around Satlok Ashram, around which security personnel, including those of central para-military forces, were deployed in strength.