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Hisar standoff: As it happened on Wednesday

Chandigarh/Barwala: The Haryana Police is due to begin a massive operation on Wednesday to nab controversial sect leader Sant Rampal, who continues to evade law and defy the Haryana and Punjab High Court's order to surrender.

Hisar standoff: As it happened on Wednesday

Barwala: Self-styled 'godman' Rampal was on Wednesday night 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.

The controversial 63-year-old will be produced in a Hisar court tomorrow.

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, as per PTI.

Panipat SP, B Sateesh Balan, who was among the five SPs of neighbouring Hisar who took part in the operation to hunt down the engineer-turned 'godman', said he did not surrender but was arrested from Satlok ashram where four women died mysteriously and two others in hospital in the midst of the showdown.

Following are the events as they unfolded:

  • "Some more people have been evacuated after arrest, process going on," says Satendra Gupta, SP, Hisar, adding, "We have requested people again and again to come out, have also provided free bus facilities." 
  • "Government faced a challenge for the first time. It’s a complete failure as people have died," says Ashok Tanwar, Haryana Congress president.
  • "Our priority was to rescue people safely and arrest culprit. Government has been successful in its mission," says Jawahar Yadav, Haryana CM OSD, as per ANI.
  • Rampal will be produced in Hisar court tomorrow, says SP, Panipat Satish Balan.
  • Rampal arrested from his Hisar ashram, being taken to Chandigarh for medical check-up, as per reports.
  • Haryana CM Khattar says operation to nab Rampal will "continue till he is arrested". He took to Twitter to put forward his views on the violence at Barwala.
  • Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh speaks to Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar over the prevailing situation in Hisar.
  • "Operation has gone better than expected, our forces and police personnel have done a commendable job, says Anil Kumar Rao," IG, adding, "Many phases of operation are complete, going to enter in final phase very soon."
  • As authorities in Haryana mount pressure on 'godman' Rampal to appear before the High Court, Law Minister DV Sadananda Gowda refused to join issue, saying law and order is a state subject. "Law and order is a state subject. A direction has been issued by the (Punjab and Haryana) High Court, that needs to be implemented by the state government. It is not appropriate for me to comment at this juncture," he said, as per PTI.
  • MoS, Home Kiren Rijiju says that situation was not a breakdown of law and order and that the Hissar incident was restricted to one ashram, as per reports.
  • Congress leader Manish Tiwari takes a dig at BJP government for failing to arrest Rampal.