Day after Dera chief’s 20-year jail sentence, Haryana gears up verdict on Rampal today

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A day after sentencing Dera chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh to 20 years in jail, Haryana is gearing up for verdict on another self-styled godman – 67-year-old Rampal, founder of the Satlok Ashram in Haryana’s Barwala.

On Tuesday, August 29, a Hisar court is expected to pronounce the verdict in two 11-year-old criminal cases against the sexagenarian and his accomplices. The verdict was originally supposed to be announced on August 24, but postponed due to the Dera case.

Rampal, who was arrested in 2014, is currently inside the Hisar jail. He, along with his supporters, have been accused of firing on villagers in Rohtak, killing one person and injuring several others.

To make followers leave the ashram, police cut off food and power supply. Later, many claimed that they were held forcefully in the ashram to support the shield. When the police tried to get into the ashram, the followers of Rampal threw stones, acid and petrol bombs at the police.

The standoff between police and Satlok Ashram, were the first major clashes in Haryana under the current Manohar Lal Khattar-led BJP government.

Last week, the Punjab and Haryana high court blasted the Khattar government over the deadly riots in Panchkula and Sirsa that killed 38 and injured over 300 people. The riots ensued after Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh was convicted of raping to sadhvis or female followers.

Yesterday, Singh was finally sentenced to 20 years in jail.