Chandigarh: A day after the self-styled godman, Dera Sacha Sauda Chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, was sent to jail for 20 years by a special CBI judge in two rape cases, another from the same ilk is awaiting his verdict on Tuesday.
Rampal, head of the Barwala based Satlok Ashram near Hisar, is expected to be at a special court on Tuesday, to hear the verdict of cases lodged against him in November 2014. Many of his followers have gathered in Hisar to await the outcome.
On November 18, 2014, a case was registered against Rampal and his followers under IPC sections 186 (Obstructing public servant in discharge of his public function), 332 (Voluntarily causing hurt to deter public servant from his duty) and 353 (Assault or use of criminal force to deter a public servant from discharging his duty).
The hearings in the cases have been proceeding at a special court set up in the Hisar Central Jail. The special court had to be set up as Rampal’s supporters would gather in large numbers each time the case would come up for hearing and try to create obstructions in court proceedings.
He also has several other cases pending against him including that of sedition in which the hearing is still underway.
The verdict in the two cases was earlier expected to be out on August 24 but was shifted to August 29 as the verdict in the much more sensitive Dera Sacha Sauda case had been scheduled for August 25. Haryana Police had put in a request at Hisar Court to postpone the case to a later date keeping in view the law and order situation in the state.
Born into an agricultural family, Rampal resigned his job as a junior engineer from the Haryana government in 1996 and founded the Satlok Ashram in Hisar. His ashram was founded on the premise that temple visits, idol worship, untouchability, adultery, vulgar singing and dancing were vices that should be done away with. He is a follower of the Kabir Panth (path of Kabir) that shifts focus from worshipping the Hindu trinity to believing in one Satguru and emphasising the limitations in religion.
Rampal, who was wanted in a 2006 murder case, refused to appear before court in 2014. His lawyers took the pretext that Rampal’s followers are keeping him captive inside the Satlok Ashram in Barwala and it is not his fault that he is unable to make an appearance. Eventually, a massive police operation had to be initiated to evict Rampal from his Ashram along with his followers and present him before the court.