CHANDIGIRH: Self-styled godman Rampal and fourteen others were given life term for the murder of four women and a child in Satlok Ashram in Barwala in 2014. The Additional District and Sessions Judge of Hisar DR Chalia pronounced the verdict in this 2014 murder case.
While pronouncing the punishment, the court said that Rampal will remain in prison until the end of his life. All the convicts have been asked to pay a fine of Rs 2.05 lakh each in addition to the jail term.
Rampal and his followers were charged with murder and wrongful confinement after four women and a child were found dead in his Satlok Ashram spread over 12-acres, some three kilometres from Barwala town on Hisar-Tohana road in Hisar on November 19, 2014.
The quantum of punishment will be announced on October 17 in the other case relating to the death of a woman in his ashram. In both the cases Rampalarged for murder and criminal conspiracy. Rampal, head of Satlok Ashram was held guilty in these two cases of murder on October 12.
A makeshift court had been set up within the premises of Hisar Central Jail iwhere Rampal is being brought for both the verdict and for the announcement of the quantum of punishment. In 2014 the Haryana Police went to arrest Rampal following directions from the Punjab and Haryana high court over contempt of court case.
Then thousands of his followers clashed with the police who were inside his ashram. Thus the authorities were forced to cut off power and water supply to force them out. He was arrested on November 19, 2014 on charges of murder, attempt to murder, conspiracy, holding illegal weapons and abetting suicide.
Who is Rampal?
Rampal is the head of religious sect called Kabir Panth and is popularly referred to by his followers as 'Jagatguru Rampal Ji'. The 63-year-old used to work as a junior engineer in the irrigation department in Haryana and left his job in 1996.
Born at Dhanana village in Sonepat district, he is married and has two sons and as many daughters. The Satlok Ashram was founded in 1991 in Karotha village of Rohtak district. In 2006 during clashes between his followers and those of the Arya Samaj, one person was killed and 59 others were injured.
Subsequently, the district administration attached these properties. He then moved to his another ashram near Barwala in Hisar. The ashram was closed after the clashes in 2014. At present, two of his ashrams are operating in Bhiwani and in Delhi.