A local court in Haryana’s Hisar on Thursday held self-styled godman guilty in two murder cases filed against him. Additional District and Sessions Judge, Hisar, D R Chaliya, held Rampal and some of his followers guilty in these cases dating back to 2014.Also Read - Self-styled Godman Rampal's Sentencing Today; Security Beefed up in Hisar
Deputy commissioner Ashok Kumar said the quantum of punishment for each of the murder cases will be pronounced on October 16 and 17. Also Read - Self-styled godman Rampal convicted in murder cases
In the first case, Rampal and his followers were booked on charges of murder and wrongful confinement after four women and a child were found dead at the former’s Stalok Ashram in Hisar’s Barwala town on November 19, 2014. Also Read - Verdict in Murder Cases Against Self-styled Godman Rampal Likely Today; Security Beefed up in Hisar
Another case was registered against Rampal and his followers after a woman was found dead in his ashram on November 18. A total of 80 witnesses, including doctors who conducted the postmortems on the victims, deposed during the trial, said Rampal’s counsel MS Nain.
The Hisar administration has beefed up security in the area to avoid any law and order situation by Rampal’s supporters. The administration is concerned that thousands of Rampal’s followers might throng the city as they have done on similar occasions in the past. After self-styled godman Ram Rahim’s conviction in rape cases August last year, his supporters had resorted to violence in Hisar, leaving 30 people dead.
Over 4,000 police personnel, besides the Rapid Action Force (RAF) and paramilitary troops, have been deployed to maintain law and order situation in the district.
Twelve years ago Rampal criticised a few parts of Arya Samaj which led to violent clashes between the two sects. His followers started firing at the villagers in Rohtak, Haryana, killing one and injuring 59 others. Following the incident, Rampal was charged with murder and was arrested in 2006.
He was given bail in 2008 but failed to appear before the court in 2014. When police reached his Satlok Ashram, his supporters formed a protective ring around him to prevent police from arresting him. This lead to a two-week standoff between the police and his over 15,000 followers. The Satlok Ashram followers had even declared that the police will have to shoot down 100,000 of his followers.
The godman was acquitted by a Hisar court in August, 2017, in two cases related to rioting, unlawful assembly and use of force. However, he is still in jail as he is facing several other charges, including murder.
Rampal’s name also figured in a list of “fake babas” released recently by the Akhil Bharatiya Akhara Parishad, top body of Hindu seers.
The parishad has earlier declared self-styled godmen including Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, Radhey Maa, Nirmal Baba, Rampal, Asaram Bapu and his son Narayan Sai as “fake babas” in the wake of controversies surrounding them.