A Hisar court will be going to pronounce the verdict against self-styled godman Sant Rampal on August 29 in connection with the two cases registered against him. The verdict was supposed to be announced on August 24 but was deferred.
Rampal founded the Satlok Ashram in Karotha village of Rohtak district in 1999, based on his following from within the Kabir Panth.
Chronology of events leading to arrest of Sant Rampal
It was in 2006 when Rampal raised objections to certain parts of Satyarth Prakash, the core text of the Arya Samaj. This led to a clash with followers of Arya Samaj, in which one person named Sonu was shot dead, and 59 others were injured.
Rampal was charged with murder and attempt to murder, and jailed for 22 months. His followers claim that he was falsely implicated in the case.
Rampal was released on bail in 2008, he set up his base in Barwala, Hisar. After obtaining bail, Rampal did not appear in court regularly, for trial in the murder case.
In September 2014, Rampal was asked to appear before the Punjab and Haryana High Court in Chandigarh, however, Rampal did not appear before the court.
The Punjab and Haryana High Court issued non-bailable arrest warrants against him. This led to protest and his followers blocked rail and road traffic in Ambala, Panchkula and Chandigarh on November 5.
When the police tried to detain him on November 9, his followers formed human chains outside the Satlok Ashram to prevent the police from arresting him. The police tried to initiate a dialogue, and asked him to surrender. Rampal's followers announced that the police will have to kill more than 100,000 followers before arresting him.
By 18 November, his Satlok ashram in Hisar was protected by thousands of his followers who wielded lathis, sticks and other fire arms.
The police had to fight bloody clashes with armed supporters of the controversial spiritual leader during the siege. The bodies of four women were found on the ashram premises while one woman and a child who were ill were taken to hospital where they died. The police said the deaths had not occurred in police action.
Rampal, who had holed up in the ashram at Barwala, Hisar, was arrested in the final assault by the police, with assistance from Central paramilitary force on November 19, 2014.