The Haryana police has sounded a high alert in Hisar and neighbouring towns in view of the impending decision by an additional session court on the murder cases involving Satlok Ashram head Rampal and his supporters, The Tribune reported.
Rampal, who claims to be a spiritual successor and reincarnation of revered saint Kabir, is a currently lodged in the Hisar Central jail.
In November 2014, Rampal had holed himself up inside his Satlok ashram in Barwala Haryana and his armed followers had clashed with police and paramilitary personnel. The violence had left six people dead. Rampal was later arrested following a protracted standoff between his supporters and the police. Nearly 15,000 of his followers were evacuated from the massive 12-acre ashram premises at Barwala.
The court is likely to pronounce the verdict on Thursday (10 October) in connection with the murder charges connected to the death of six persons — five women and a child — during violent clashes.
Thousands of Rampal’s supporters were expected to gather at the court on Thursday (10 October) even as police have evicted several Rampal’s supporters from other states who gathered in the town. The police have also intensified security operations at the sprawling but now abandoned Satlok Ashram.
The Special Task Force (STF) led by DIG B Satheesh Balan has taken charge of law and order. Deputy Commissioner Ashok Kumar Meena carried out a flag march in Hissar and reviewed security arrangements.
The administration has clamped prohibitory orders and called reinforcements to maintain law and order while putting up 37 temporary “nakas” in and around the town.
In August 2017, Rampal was acquitted by a local court at Hisar in two other cases related to rioting, unlawful assembly and use of force during the November 2014 clashes. However, he was not released as faces several other charges including murder and sedition.
The conviction of Dera Sacha Sauda (DSS) head Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh in August 2017 had sparked violence by a section of his followers in some cities of Punjab and Haryana. Despite advance warning by various security agencies of the possibility of violence, the Haryana state government was found wanting and failed to prevent the huge gathering of DSS followers in Panchkula, where the trial was being held.
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