Several Rampal supporters leave ashram overnight as police cuts off water, power supply


Journalists-covering-clasheHisar: The situation in Hisar continues to remain tense as self-styled godman Rampal refuses to defy Haryana and Punjab High Court and police orders to surrender.

Large number of Rampal supporters came out of the ashram in the intervening night of Wednesday and were sent to Hisar in busses and police vehicles. His supporters seem to be divided into two groups within the ashram. While one group of supporters wants to leave, the remaining want to stay back in the ashram and support Rampal.

Police have surrounded the ashram, cut off water and power supply to it and have asked people to vacate the premises. Many Rampal supporters are believed to still be inside the ashram and reports suggest that women and children are being used as human shields.

Police officials were attacked by the self-styled godman’s supporters when they tried to enter the ashram in search of Rampal. Some media people were also attacked and injured in the clashes on Tuesday. Police have said that they might use cranes to break down walls of the Ashram if required.

The Haryana DGP has claimed that the operation will end with Rampal’s arrest. The DGP said firing had taken place from inside the Ashram from where people pelted stones, hurled petrol bombs and acid bottles at the security personnel.

Three FIRs have been slapped against Rampal and his supporters, state DGP S N Vashisht told reporters in Chandigarh. Police lobbed teargas shells and resorted to lathicharge to disperse Rampal’s supporters who allegedly fired back, leaving over 200 persons, including over 100 policemen, followers and several media personnel, injured. Tension mounted as supporters of Rampal refused to heed to repeated announcements by the police over loud speakers to allow them to enter the premises to arrest him.

After getting a strong worded warning from the Punjab and Haryana High Court, the Haryana Police has been asked to present Rampal in court on Friday.

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