Rampal sent to judicial custody till Nov 28, claims was held captive in ashram

Self-styled 'godman' Rampal, arrested from his Satlok ashram in Barwala, Haryana was sent to judicial custody till November 28 by Punjab and Haryana High Court on Thursday. 

Rampal sent to judicial custody till Nov 28, claims was held captive in ashram

Chandigarh: Self-styled 'godman' Rampal, arrested from his Satlok ashram in Barwala, Haryana was sent to judicial custody till November 28 by Punjab and Haryana High Court on Thursday.

When the division bench asked Rampal as to why he didn't surrendered before police, the sect leader replied that he was held captive in his ashram. 

Speaking to the media, Rampal's counsel SK Garg said the sect leader was held in captivity, which is why he couldn't appear before the court, adding that his client was rescued by Haryana police.

Garg further said that Rampal is a law abiding citizen and respects judiciary.

The HC bench asked the Haryana government to file a report in connection with the police operation at Rampal's ashram in Barwala.

The Punjab and Haryana High Court, while hearing arguments in the Rampal case directed the governments of both the states to prepare a comprehensive report on all deras running inside their borders and file the same before it at the next hearing on November 28.

Earlier in the day, the court cancelled the bail granted to controversial sect leader Rampal in a 2006 murder case.

The division bench of the HC cancelled the bail which was granted to Rampal in April 2008. 

Earlier, while being taken from hospital to police station today morning Rampal said that all allegations against him are false. He also denied keeping anyone hostage while police was trying to enter his Satlok ashram premises.

When asked whether he was a godman or a conman, Rampal maintained silence.

The Haryana Police placed heavy security arrangements outside the HC premises to keep followers of the self-styled godman at bay and to ensure that they do not break the law here.

Rampal was brought to Panchkula town, adjoining Chandigarh early Thursday and was medically examined.

The controversial sect, who has been charged under under Sections 121 (waging, or attempting to wage war, or abetting waging of war, against the Government of India, 121A (conspiring to commit certain offences against the state) and 122 (Collecting arms etc. With the intention of waging war against the Govt of India), was taken to hospital after he complained of high blood pressure.

Other than the above mentioned cases the controversial 63-year-old baba has been charged with attempt to murder, rioting and illegal detention.

"We have examined him and his condition, including his blood pressure, is stable," BK Bansal, a doctor at Panchkula's Sector 6 General Hospital, told media.

Rampal was arrested from his ashram, ending an over two-week tense standoff between his supporters and the police after close to 15,000 of his followers were evacuated from the sprawling premises.

DGP SN Vashisht said that Rampal had been taken into custody following an operation which was "very tough" since the forces had to deal with a hostile army of his commandos.

Police said Rampal was arrested around 2120 hours and whisked him away in an ambulance.

The media, present in large numbers, was asked to clear the way for the ambulances to enter the ashram, police said.

On a day of high drama, Rampal stuck to his defiant stand of not surrendering despite repeated announcements by the police asking him to do so.

Simultanerously, many followers including women with children stuck inside trooped out, many of them complaining that they were forcibly kept inside the ashram with its gates kept locked.

Police said 70 supporters of the Rampal, most of them his 'private commandos', who indulged in violence yesterday, were arrested and produced before the local court which sent them to judicial custody till December 3.

Those arrested, include son of Rampal and chief volunteer Purushottam Dass, a cousin of the 'godman'.

The area around the ashram resembled a battlefield as sect supporters resisted police action.

Sect followers fired at police, lobbed petrol bombs and acid pouches, besides hurling stones and bricks outside the ashram, clearly indicating that the sect was well prepared to resist the security forces.

The sect leader has been avoiding arrest and failed to appear before the Punjab and Haryana high court although non-bailable warrants were issued against him Nov 5.

Rampal's supporters had indulged in vandalism in a court in Hisar in July when he was going there in connection with a 2006 murder case.

The high court took suo motu notice of the incident and had summoned Rampal.

(With agency inputs)

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. You can find out more by clicking this link