'Godman' Rampal 'unwell', not to appear before high court

Barwala (Haryana), Nov 17: With the deadline for him to appear before Punjab and Haryana High Court in a contempt case ending today, self-styled godman Rampal's supporters today said he remained "unwell" and would seek more time from court.

As the stand-off continued at Rampal's Satlok Ashram, where his followers were resisting his arrest after a fresh non-bailable warrant was issued a week ago, an Ashram spokesman said the Godman, who underwent a medical examination last night, was not in a condition to travel to Chandigarh and that he could appear through video conferencing.

"He is not in a condition to travel as he remains unwell. We will give a medical certificate which will be presented to the High Court," Ashram spokesman Raj Kapoor said.

He said that they will seek more time from court and that another date be given till Rampal's condition improves. Kapoor also said that last night the medical examination of the godman had been conducted by a five-member Board of doctors comprising three doctors of the state Health Department and two private ones who have come here from Delhi and Ludhiana.

"Sant Rampal ji has been advised complete rest," he said, adding the he could appear through video conferencing. Rejecting Haryana government's plea that Rampal was  unwell and his arrest would create law and order problems,  the High Court had on Monday last issued a fresh non-bailable arrest warrant against the 63-year-old controversial godman in a contempt case and asked as to why his bail in a 2006 murder case should not be cancelled.

The situation remained tense in and around the Ashram with a large number of followers including women and children guarding the controversial godman and security personnel, including those of central para military forces, deployed in the area. Referring to last year's clash incident in Rampal's Karontha village Ashram in Rohtak district, Kapoor demanded that a CBI probe be conducted into the incident, in which two persons were killed and many others injured.

Meanwhile, late last night, a sizeable number of security personnel including those of Haryana Police and paramilitary deployed around the Ashram here had marched back from the Ashram to their camps.


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