New Delhi, June 25: The Supreme Court on Tuesday refused to extend bail of self-styled godman Rampal, who was convicted in many cases and has been sentenced to life in prison. The apex court further directed him to return to custody by June 26.
Rampal, who founded the Satlok Ashram in Haryana and had thousands of followers at one point in time, was sentenced to life imprisonment last year in connection with deaths of four women and one child in the Satlok Asharam premises when the police barged in the ashram to arrest him.
Apart from this November 18, 2014 case, Rampal and his 13 followers have also been booked on charges of murder and wrongful confinement after a woman was found dead at the ashram on November 19, 2014.
Rampal was arrested on charges of murder, attempt to murder, conspiracy, possessing illegal weapons, abetting suicide and waging war against the government of India in November 2014. When police went to arrest him, Rampal's supporters attacked the police with petrol bombs and acid pouches in a bid to prevent the cops from arresting their 'maharaj'. Five women and a child had died during the stand-off.
Finally, he was arrested following a police operation. Since then he has been in prison. Recently, he was granted bail on health grounds. He had sought extension of bail citing his ill health.
Who is self styled godman Rampal?
Born on September 8, 1951 at Dhanana village of Gohana in Sonepat, Rampal had a diploma from Industrial Training Institute (ITI) Nilokheri of Karnal district, and served as a JE for over 15 years, before quitting in May 1995. In 1994, he came in contact with a Kabir Panthi saint. Shortly after this meeting, Rampal re-christened himself as 'Sant Rampal ji Maharaj' promising 'salvation'. In 1995, he set up Satlok Ashram of the Kabir Panthi sect. Within a short span, the now jailed godman's followers doubled- and he went on to spread his 'spiritual empire' in Jhajjar and Rohtak.
In 2014, after a tense stand-off with police, he was forced to surrender. Rampal, however, has throughout the probe is said to have maintained that he is innocent.