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Murder charges against ‘fraudman’

Murder charges against ‘fraudman’
Highlights

Murder charges against ‘fraudman’, He was produced before a two-member bench of the High Court which had set a deadline of Friday for his production in connection with a contempt case at 2 PM.

  • High Court cancels bail in a murder case
  • Sent to judicial custody till November 28
  • Haryana Police forms SIT to probe incident
  • Five women and an infant died in violence
  • Post-mortem report reveals internal injuries

Chandigarh: 'Godman' Rampal was headed for deeper trouble with Punjab and Haryana High Court cancelling his bail in a murder case and sending him to jail as police slapped charges of murder and violence over the death of six people in his ashram during the standoff that ended on Wednesday night.
Sant Rampal in police custody at Panchkula on Thursday
He was produced before a two-member bench of the High Court which had set a deadline of Friday for his production in connection with a contempt case at 2 PM.

He was sent to judicial custody till November 28, the next date of hearing.

Claiming success of the operation, Haryana Police booked Rampal on murder charge, formed an SIT, carried out 469 arrests that includes three persons from Nepal. The 63-year-old Rampal, who had failed to appear on three earlier occasions citing "ill-health", was taken for a medical test and all his health parameters were found to be "stable".

The bench comprising Justices M Jeyapaul and Darshan cancelled 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.

A day after the operation to flush him out from his 12-acre ashram in Barwala in Hisar district of Haryana, DGP S N Vashisht told a press conference here that two new cases have been registered against Rampal in connection with the death of five women and an infant in his ashram and the violence on Tuesday.

The post-mortem report revealed internal injuries but the exact cause of death will come out only forensic and chemical examination.

The ashram has now been completely cleared of Rampal's supporters and special police teams were conducting intense searches in the premises from where "private army" of the 'godman' used firearms and petrol bombs against the police.
A total of 105 policemen were injured in the violence. Two received bullet injuries, one of whom is in serious condition, having received gun shot in the neck. Seven other policemen received splinter injuries.

469 people, including a close aide of Rampal and his daughter, have been arrested, Vashisht said while commending the extreme restraint shown by his force even in the face of grave provocation when they were fired at from the ashram.
The whole effort was to avoid innocent casualties, he said. The court directed the Haryana Chief Secretary to submit a report regarding properties owned by godman Rampal, he said.

Rampal lawyers pleaded that he is a"law-abiding citizen" who could not obey court summons because "he was held captive at his ashram." Rampal failed to appear in court 43 times in four years.

Haryana Chief Minister ML Khattar said no one had died as a result of the police operation, although around 100 people are being treated for injuries. "Our plan was to achieve this (arrest) without a single person having to lose his life. We have been completely successful in this," he said.

Meanwhile, 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.

Rampal lived in a five-storey building in the complex. As policemen broke into the building, this morning, they discovered a swimming pool. That is not the only luxury Rampal, who was a junior engineer in the state government's service till 14 years ago, enjoyed. He is said to also own a fleet of luxury cars including BMWs and Mercedes.

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