Jailed 'godman' Rampal's followers booked for 'hurting' religious sentiments
Jailed 'godman' Rampal's followers booked for 'hurting' religious sentiments

The Uttar Pradesh Police has booked 27 followers of controversial self-styled godman Rampal on charges of spreading ill will and hurting religious sentiments after they were allegedly found distributing objectionable printed material.

City magistrate Sachin Kumar today said some local BJP leaders and Dharm Jagran Manch members came across followers of Rampal cult distributing literature denigrating Hindu deities at Khair road here on Sunday.

Enraged over this, members of Hindu Jagran Manch, a Hindu activist group affiliated to the Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP), went on a rampage and set fire to the literature stocked in the office of Rampal Trust situated at Jalapur.

A complaint was filed at the Delhi Gate police station here by senior Manch leader Brijesh Kantak, Kumar said.

The officer said some members of the Rampal Trust came to the court premises yesterday to apply for bail for release of the arrested persons, but were allegedly roughed up by Manch supporters.

They were sent to jail yesterday after their bail plea was rejected by the city magistrate.

They have been booked under IPC sections 153 A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc) and 295 (injuring or defiling place of worship with intent to insult the religion of any class).

Rampal, who is now in jail, used to run the Satlok Ashram in Barwala in Haryana.

He is facing charges in cases relating to arson, rioting, attempt to murder, wrongful confinement and preventing government servants from performing their duty.

The godman was acquitted by a Hisar court in August, 2017, in two cases related to rioting, unlawful assembly and use of force. However, he is still in jail as he is facing several other charges, including murder.

Rampal's name also figured in a list of "fake babas" released recently by the Akhil Bharatiya Akhara Parishad, top body of Hindu seers.

The parishad has earlier declared self-styled godmen including Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, Radhey Maa, Nirmal Baba, Rampal, Asaram Bapu and his son Narayan Sai as "fake babas" in the wake of controversies surrounding them.