Hisar: The administration of Haryana’s Hsar is on its toes as a local court is scheduled to pronounce its verdict in two murder cases against self-styled godman Rampal and 27 of his followers. Also Read - Haryana: Teacher Blackens Face of Class IV Girl For Poor Performance in English Test; Protest Erupts
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. Also Read - Haryana Assembly Election 2019: 'Planning to Spend Rs 3.5 Lakh Crore in Next 5 Years to Address Water Shortage Issue,' Says PM Modi
The additional sessions court will pronounce the verdict in connection with the murder cases dating back to 2014. 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. The arrest of the self-styles godman followed violent clashes. Also Read - Haryana Assembly Election 2019: PM Modi to Address Two Mega Rallies in Mohana and Hisar Today
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.
Sources said about 1,000 Rampal’s supporters were expected to gather at the court on Thursday.
In the past one week, the police evicted Rampal’s supporters from other states, who gathered in the town. The police have also intensified security at abandoned Satlok Ashram.
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.