This Article is From Nov 20, 2014

Am Sorry About Followers' Deaths, Says Arrested Guru Rampal: 10 Developments

Am Sorry About Followers' Deaths, Says Arrested Guru Rampal: 10 Developments

Controversial guru Rampal at the Panchkula Civil Hospital

Hisar/Panchkula: Rampal, the controversial guru arrested last night from his Haryana ashram after a two-week stand-off with the police, will be produced in court today. The 63-year-old has been charged with sedition or waging war against the nation. In hospital today, he said "I am sorry about death of followers, but didn't use any as a human shield."

Here are the latest developments:

  1. Rampal also faces a contempt of court charge for failing to appear 43 times in the last four years in a case. The High Court had ordered Rampal's arrest by Friday after he repeatedly ignored summons. His bail in a murder case has been cancelled, clearing the way for his arrest.

  2. Late on Wednesday, the police stormed Rampal's chamber in his Satlok Ashram in Hisar and took him away in an ambulance, in a 10-vehicle convoy. His band of armed supporters tried to prevent his arrest and allegedly threw acid pouches at the police.

  3. He was taken to a hospital in Panchkula, near Chandigarh, where he was examined by a team of three doctors who said he is stable. He will be taken to court this afternoon from the hospital.

  4. Rampal had holed himself up in the ashram with at least 5000 followers and used women and children as shields as he evaded arrest for days. His notorious army, who call themselves "babas commandos", are still holding about 2000 or 3000 people inside the ashram, the police said.

  5. The police fear there could be injured women and children among them. But they said there was no confirmation on any more people having died inside the ashram. Four women died at the ashram during the stand-off; one woman and one 18-month-old baby, who were staying at the ashram, died in hospital later.

  6. Thousands of policemen are deployed at the ashram on Thursday morning. The police is making announcements assuring people that it is safe to come out; those who have managed to come out, say they have done so with great difficulty.

  7. There is tight security at hospital where Rampal was kept overnight. His supporters have gathered in the vicinity of the hospital, but are not being allowed by the police to come anywhere close.

  8. There were reportedly no casualties during the final operation to arrest Rampal; personnel of the Central Reserve Police Force or CRPF were specifically deployed around the ashram earlier to prevent him from escaping.

  9. Haryana Chief Minister ML Khattar said this morning, "We have been successful in this mission. No innocent should be killed - that was our focus. Media, administration should be given credit for this."

  10. The controversial guru is a former junior engineer who set up his cult after he was sacked. He is said to have 25 lakh followers in several states, owns property worth crores and a fleet of luxury cars.

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