Sect indicates controversial godman could appear in court

Barwala (Haryana), Nov 16 (IANS) While remaining defiant about his arrest, officials of controversial sect leader and self-styled godman Rampal’s Satlok Ashram Sunday evening indicated that he could appear before the Punjab and Haryana High Court Monday.

Ashram spokesman Raj Kapoor said doctors will review the sect leader’s health Monday morning and see if he can travel (to Chandigarh).

“We have made a plan that even if Sant Rampal feels better by 8 a.m., we will go to the court. Our deadline is 8 a.m. It takes 4-5 hours to reach (Chandigarh). We are keeping that option open,” Kapoor told the media near the ashram, even as the stand-off between the thousands of sect followers and security forces over the sect leader’s arrest continued Sunday.

“If his condition does not improve by then, we will again give a medical certificate. We don’t have any other option on this,” the spokesman said.

Ruling out any confrontation between police and the sect followers, who are determined to prevent his arrest, Kapoor said: “There will be no confrontation between the sect followers and police. If they (police) come, we are ready to die.”

The 20-day-old BJP government in Haryana led by Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar has been under fire for not being able to present the controversial sect leader before the high court.

“The sect did not want to disturb peace in the state. We are trying to find such a way so that peace and law and order are maintained in the state and law is followed,” the sect spokesman said.

Kapoor said that, at present, the sector leader was not in a position to appear before the court.

“He is not feeling well (at present). He is not in a position to go (to the court).”

Asked about the options before the sect leader, in view of the tough stance taken by the high court against his non-appearance, Kapoor said: “We can go in for reconciliation, video-conferencing can be there or there can be exemption. We want that he should get exemption.”

The stand-off between followers of the godman based and security forces continued with the police failing to take him into custody till Sunday evening.

Hundreds of women and children, along with men followers of Rampal, continued to provide him shield by blocking entry of the security forces into the Satlok Ashram.



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