Godman Rampal has successfully evaded arrest yet again, raising concerns about the rule of law in Haryana and about the power that spiritual leaders wield

Gunmen Prevent Police from Arresting Godman Rampalgodmen followers guns650 HARYANA TURNING BANANA REPUBLIC

  1. The purported message sought to be disseminated by the self styled Godman who goes by the name of Jagat Guru Rampal is rather different than the behavior displayed by his followers and henchmen. While the website of Rampal Maharaj speaks of mankind as the prime religion, the supreme God being Kabir the uniter of all faiths, the actions of his people belie this.306186 365463486831497 1279541959 n HARYANA TURNING BANANA REPUBLIC
  2. The Godman is an under-trial accused in murder case in which he was granted bail in 2006. Pursuant to non-bailable warrants being issued against Rampal by the High Court of Punjab and Haryana, the followers and henchmen of the Godman have prevented the police from arresting him. The Satlok Ashram in Barwala, Hisar, was been transformed into a virtual fortress. Chandigarh Railway station also bore the signs of being under siege, with heavy police presence to guard against the likelihood of his followers turning violent. Since 2010, the Godman has failed to turn up for as many as 42 court dates seeking exemption on some or other grounds.
  3. On 5 November 2014 the High Court issued a non bailable warrant against Rampal who had repeatedly refused to attend court hearings, asking the Haryana DGP that the accused by produced before the court. The matter came up for hearing yesterday when Rampal’s close aide Ram Kumar Dhaka was produced before court. However the Godman has continued to evade arrest, this time on the grounds of poor health, something that medical personnel of Hisar’s Civil Hospital confirmed. (Source – Times)
  4. The Godman has managed to evade arrest in spite of 35 companies of police including state police and the CAPF, 4 water cannons, 27 tear gas squads, 4 riot control vehicles, 4 cranes and fire brigade vehicles being deployed around the Asharam. Followers of the Godman armed with guns and sticks placed themselves outside the ashram to prevent the authorities reaching him, preventing his arrest.
  5. Godman Rampal HARYANA TURNING BANANA REPUBLICIn Rohtak, followers of the Guru opened fire on the villagers, injuring several people and killing one person. Last year three people lost their lives when Rampal’s supporters clashed with villagers. This warrant was issued when Rampal once again failed to turn up in Court on the given date. To evade arrest, a religious gathering (Satsang) was scheduled for that very weekend, ensuring that vast numbers of people remained present at the Ashram. The police then cited this reason for failing to arrest him – “due to the religious gathering, any forcible action may lead to casualties.” (Source – NDTV)
  6. Clearly the rule of law doesn’t work against the powerful in Haryana, raising concerns about the sort of democracy that exists in the state. With Khap Panchayats handing out rough and ready justice as they deem fit, the state’s CM Manohar Lal Khattar making misogynistic comments that reflect the entrenched patriarchal mindset of the people in the state, these concerns are not misplaced at all.
  7. The hegemony and the invincibility of Godmen and spiritual leaders in general is another concern – their followers elevate these leaders to such a level that they remain outside the purview of the legal frame work and law enforcement authorities. Just a cursory glance at the Facebook page of the Godman’s Satlok Ashram reveals that kind of unshakable reverence that followers have for Rampal. It is scary that the faith of people can so easily be manipulated to subvert the law and to evade justice.

Image sources – 1, 2 and 3,

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