10 Developments

Rohtak: Clashes over controversial godman's ashram; 3 killed, over 100 injured

Rohtak:  Three people, including one woman, were killed and over 100 others injured after angry villagers in Karontha village in Haryana's Rohtak district clashed with police on Sunday demanding the removal of a religious headman of local ashram. Curfew has been imposed in the area.
Here are 10 developments in the story:
  1. The police said that the situation was today tense but under control. Around 500 CRPF personnel have been rushed to maintain law and order near Satlok Ashram in Karontha village which witnessed violence yesterday. (Watch)
  2. The tension began when policemen tried to stop protesting villagers from marching towards the ashram. The villagers were angry with Rampal Maharaj, the godman who has been accused of defaming the Vedas (religious texts).
  3. The protesters torched four government vehicles, including three buses of Haryana Roadways and an ambulance, and some motor-bikes near the ashram on the Rohtak-Jhajjar road. The mob also smashed window panes of several other vehicles.
  4. In 2006, Rampal Maharaj was arrested on charges of rape, murder and rioting and his ashram was seized. He got out of the jail in 2008. In April this year, the Supreme Court ruled that the ashram could stay where it was.
  5. Unhappy with the godman's return, a group of angry villagers armed with lathis tried to march towards the ashram in an attempt to confront and get him to leave the premises. They clashed with the godman's supporters.
  6. The bodies of three people who were killed and the injured, which include 50 policemen, were brought to Rohtak's PGI Hospital. According to hospital authorities, all three were brought dead and had bullet injuries.
  7. Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda has ordered a magisterial probe into the violence. Describing the violence as "unfortunate", Mr Hooda urged villagers to maintain peace and law and order situation.
  8. Director General of Police (DGP) Haryana, SN Vashisht, is at the spot to take stock of the situation. Senior district and police officials also met village elders this morning and urged them to maintain calm.
  9. There is heavy police presence and heavy barricades at various places on the Rohtak-Jhajjar Highway.
  10. Prohibitory orders have been imposed in the area under Section 144. Additional forces, including the Rapid Action Force (RAF), have been called in from adjoining districts to ease the tension in the area.

Story First Published: May 13, 2013 09:00 IST

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