Hisar: Self-styled godman Rampal has been sentenced to life in jail in connection with two cases of murder.
On Thursday, Rampal was convicted of murder by a Hisar court.
Rampal and 27 of his followers were charged with murder and wrongful confinement after four women and a child were found dead in his Satlok Ashram in Barwala in Hisar on November 19, 2014.
Before the announcement, security was tightened in Hisar. A heavy deployment of police force has been made by the local administration as thousands of followers of Rampal are expected to reach Hisar in Haryana.
Para-military forces and Rapid Action Force (RAF) jawans have also been kept on standby.
Rampal was lodged at Hisar’s Central Jail-2.
He was arrested in 2014 after his 12-acre ashram in Hisar was stormed by policemen. His followers were armed with stones, batons and guns. The days-long siege included Rampal using devotees as human shields.
On November 17, 2014, a case was registered against Rampal, the head of Satlok Ashram, 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).
Another case was registered against Rampal and his followers - Purshotam Dass, Raj Kumar, Mohinder Singh, Rajender Singh, Rahul and 30-40 other persons - on November 18, 2014 on a complaint of Sukhdev Singh of Ratia (Fatehabad) under IPC sections 147 (Rioting), 149 (Unlawful assembly, every other member of such assembly shall be guilty of the offence), 188 (disobedient to an order lawfully promulgated by a public servant) and 342 (Wrongfully confining any person).
In August 2017, Rampal was found not guilty of illegally confining thousands of followers and obstructing officials in 2014 when they stormed his ashram. Six people were killed as his devotees turned into a private army to prevent his arrest; hundreds were injured.