Controversial ‘godman’ Rampal was in for deep trouble with his bail in a 2006 murder case being cancelled on Thursday by the Punjab and Haryana High Court which posted the matter to November 28. Till then he will be in judicial custody.
Rampal, who was not obeying the HC directives for appearance before it, was arrested from his ashram in Barwala in Haryana’s Hisar district last night after over two weeks of standoff between police and his supporters, who posed stiff resistance and even resorted to violence on Tuesday.
The bench comprising Justices M Jeyapaul and Darshan Singh today pronounced the cancellation of his bail in connection with a case of murder registered in 2006 after a clash at his Ashram at Kainthola in Rohtak district where one person had died and some others were injured.
The bail was cancelled after Haryana Advocate General and Station House Officer (SHO) of Barwala Police Station moved an application stating that Rampal had been arrested in a contempt of court case. The HC also ordered that he be arrested immediately.
Rampal, who had refused to appear before the High Court citing ill-health, was this morning taken for a mandatory medical test at a government hospital in Panchkula and all his health parameters were found to be “stable”.
He was later produced before the HC in a contempt of court case and was sent to judicial custody.
The bench posted the matter to November 28 with a direction to Haryana Police chief to file an affidavit giving details of the operation carried out to arrest Rampal from his ashram in Barwala in Haryana’s Hisar district along with damages, injuries to people, regarding arms and ammunition in the Ashram and loss of property.
Rampal had been evading his appearance in a contempt of court case before the HC, which issued a direction to police to produce him by tomorrow.
The 63-year-old ‘godman’ claimed to reporters that allegations against him were false. “Yeh jhuthee ilzaam hein (these are false allegations),” he said while being taken from the hospital after his medical examination.
At his Satlok Ashram in Barwala, followers were gradually coming out and claimed that they were being held hostage by the self-styled ‘godman’ and his henchmen.
Security personnel were treading with caution before launching a full-scale search at the ashram, spread in a 12-acre area, as they suspect some staunch supporters and members of his “private commandos” were still inside.
His supporters had clashed with security personnel on Tuesday when attempt was made to arrest him, leaving over 200 injured. Six persons had also died and the cause of their death was being probed.
Subsequently, authorities had slapped sedition and other serious charges against him and several of his followers following the violence.
The self-styled ‘godman’ had failed to appear before the High Court on three dates – November 5, November 10 and November 17 – and was facing non-bailable warrants.
The High Court had suo motu taken up the issue of cancellation of bail in the murder case on November 10 when Rampal failed to appear in the contempt case.
On Monday, the HC directed that Rampal be produced on November 21. However, today it accepted a Haryana police application and asked it to produce him at 2 PM today.