Haryana: 6 security personnel arrested during raid on Rampal's ashram

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Chandigarh, Dec 23: An Army man and a head constable were among six security personnel arrested from godman Rampal's ashram at Barwala in Hisar district during the operation to apprehend the controversial preacher, the Haryana government on Tuesday told the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

Amid thick security cover, Rampal along with his two associates Ram Kanwar Dhaka and OP Hooda was produced before a division bench of the court comprising justices M Jeyapaul and Darshan Singh here which adjourned the contempt proceedings to January 29 while directing them to appear before the court again.

File photo

During the about 55-minute proceedings in the jampacked court room, the Haryana government, through its counsel, filed two sets of affidavits before the court.

One affidavit was filed on behalf of Haryana director General of Police (DGP) Shriniwas Vashist and other by Additional Chief Secretary PK Mahapatra. In his affidavit, the DGP told the court that six security personnel were arrested from the dera premises during the entire operation to nab Rampal.

Of the six arrested, four belonged to Army out of whom three are retired and one serving and two of police, including one dismissed cop and other serving, the court was told.

"Shyam Sunder of Agra district is with the Rajasthan Rifles at Regiment Centre Delhi while Bijender Singh of Rohtak district is serving as Head Constable with Haryana Police," the court was told. Besides, three retired Army personnel Bishambar of Jhajjar district of Haryana, Yogender of Nepal and Desh Raj from Fatehabad in Haryana were arrested during the operation.

Of the other personnel arrested, Rajender from Sonipat is a dismissed head constable of Haryana Police, the court was told. The bench directed the Ministry of Defence and Haryana Police to place on record the action taken against the six personnel on the next hearing in the case.

In another affidavit filed by Haryana's Additional Chief Secretary, the court was told that Rampal had ten accounts with different banks at Barwala town with savings worth over Rs 1.32 crore.

Regarding immovable properties owned by Rampal, the court was told by Haryana's Additional Advocate General (AAG) Lokesh Simhal that the government had written three different letters to all Chief Secretaries of states, union ministry of finance and directorate of Income Tax to provide details of deposits and properties held by him and the Trust floated by the controversial preacher.

However, defence counsel SK Garg sought more time to file his reply in the case while contesting that the division bench has no jurisdiction to put the onus of entire expenditure incurred during the operation to arrest Rampal on 'godman'.
At the last hearing on November 28, the court was told that a whopping Rs 26.61 crore was spent on the arrest of Rampal and security arrangements for producing him in court in the contempt case.

On Tuesday, the CRPF and Rapid Action Force (RAF) told the court that it incurred an expenditure of Rs 3.96 crore during the operation to arrest Rampal.

While the DGP told that court that 110 police personnel received injuries in the operation, 27 RAF personnel too were injured in the process to arrest Rampal. Amicus curiae in the case Anupam Gupta said the medical reports of those injured in the operation to arrest Rampal must be place before the bench.

The court directed the Haryana DGP to submit the report in the next hearing. 63-year-old Rampal was arrested on November 19 after a two-week tense standoff between his supporters and the police after close to 15,000 of his followers were evacuated from the sprawling premises.

Police have arrested over 900 people and nine FIRs related to various offences, including sedition charges, were registered against Rampal and others following the operation to apprehend the controversial preacher.

PTI

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