December 19, 2017

Self-styled godman Rampal acquitted in two criminal cases

TAP | Updated: August 29, 2017

The self-styled godman Rampal was on Tuesday acquitted by a local court at Hisar in two cases related to rioting, unlawful assembly and use of force.

He, however, will continue to be in jail as he is facing several other charges including murder.

Judicial Magistrate Mukesh Kumar, citing lack of evidence, acquitted the 66-year-old head of Satlok Ashram in Barwala and his followers.

“It’s a victory of truth. The court has acquitted Rampal in two cases,” said his counsel A.P. Singh, after the judgment.

The two cases were registered against Rampal and his followers in November 2014.

The court of the Judicial Magistrate that was shifted to the central jail to pronounce the verdict acquitted Rampal in the two cases under IPC sections 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty), 186 (obstructing public servant in discharge of public functions), 426 (mischief), 147 (rioting), 149 (every member of unlawful assembly guilty of offence committed in prosecution of common object), 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant), and 342 (wrongful confinement.)

District attorney Rajender Kumar said the court was temporarily shifted to the central jail, where Rampal is currently lodged, in the wake of security concerns.

In November 2014, Rampal had holed himself up inside his ashram in Haryana and his armed followers had clashed with police and paramilitary personnel. The violence had left six people dead.

Rampal was arrested following a tense standoff between his supporters and the police after close to 15,000 of his followers were evacuated from the sprawling 12-acre Satlok ashram premises at Barwala in 2014.

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