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Haryana godman Rampal gets relief from Hisar court

Haryana godman Rampal gets relief from Hisar court

Chandigarh: Self-styled godman Rampal of Haryana, whose private army and aides had fought a pitched battle with police in November 2014 to prevent his arrest, was on Tuesday acquitted in two criminal cases by a court in Hisar town.

The court of Judicial Magistrate Mahesk Kumar held Rampal not guilty of the wrongful confinement, unlawful assembly and disobedience to an order promulgated by a public servant.

However, Rampal will continue to be in prison as he is facing other cases, including of murder conspiracy, sedition and rioting.

The verdict was announced at a makeshift court set up inside the Central Jail in Hisar, about 250 km from here.

Rampal and his close aides, including his private army, had resisted a police operation to arrest him on the orders of the Punjab and Haryana High Court while holed up inside his Satlok Ashram in Barwala town of Hisar in November 2014.

At least six people, including five women and an infant, died during the days'-long standoff with the police as Rampal continued to elude the police.

The High Court had ordered his arrest as he had failed to appear before the law.

Earlier, Rampal's supporters had indulged in vandalism in a court in Hisar in July 2014 when he was going there in connection with a 2006 murder conspiracy case.

The High Court had taken suo motu notice of the incident and summoned Rampal.

Rampal's key associates, including Purshotam Dass, Rajkumar, Mahinder Singh, Rajender Singh and Raj Kapoor, were also booked in the case.

The Rampal case verdict was to come on August 24 but was deferred in view of the August 25 verdict against Dera chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim, who has been sentenced to 20 years in jail for rape.

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