Hisar: A local court in Haryana’s Hisar on Thursday found self-styled godman Rampal guilty in two murder cases against him. Deputy commissioner Ashok Kumar said the quantum of punishment for each of the murder cases will be pronounced on 16 and 17 October.
Rampal was convicted on the charges of murder in a 2006 case relating the death of a woman supporter. Rampal was also convicted on the charges of murder in a 2014 case that dealt with the deaths of four women and a child.
In both the cases, Rampal was charged under section 302 (murder) and section 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code.
The court of additional district and sessions judge (ADJ) DR Chalia pronounced the verdict in the 2014 cases. The final arguments in the cases against Rampal, head of Satlok Ashram, and his followers were completed on Monday.
The guilty verdict was pronounced at the Hisar Central Jail. Rampal was not taken out of the prison. He was instead produced inside the makeshift court via video conferencing.
Rampal and 27 of his followers were booked on charges of murder and wrongful confinement after four women and a child were found dead in Satlok Ashram in Barwala town of Hisar on 19 November 2014. Another case was registered against Rampal and his followers after a woman was found dead in his ashram on 18 November.
A total of 80 witnesses, including doctors who conducted the postmortem examinations on the victims, deposed during the trial, said Rampal’s counsel MS Nain.
Authorities have deployed more than 4,000 police personnel, besides the Rapid Action Force (RAF) and paramilitary troops, to maintain law and order in the district and surrounding areas.
The administration is concerned that thousands of Rampal’s followers might throng the city as they have done on similar occasions in the past.
They also clamped prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) in the district on Monday.
The two cases of murder against Rampal date back to November 2014. The first case involves the death of a woman in the Satlok Ashram in Barwala on 18 November 2014. In the second case, Rampal and 27 of his followers were booked on charges of murder and wrongful confinement after four women and a child were found dead in Satlok Ashram in Barwala town of Hisar on 19 November 2014.
Thousands of his followers clashed with police when they had come to arrest him following directions of the Punjab and Haryana high court over contempt of court.
Rampal was arrested on 19 November on charges of murder, attempt to murder, conspiracy, holding illegal weapons and abetting suicide.