Four bodies found in guru’s complex

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Published: Wednesday 19th November 2014 by The News Editor

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The bodies of four women were found inside an Indian guru’s heavily fortified ashram, police said today, a day after security forces tried to storm the sprawling complex and arrest the spiritual leader.

Sant Rampal, 63, is believed to be holed up inside the compound in Haryana state, protected by thousands of devotees, many of them armed, according to police. Nearly 200 people were injured yesterday as riot police tried to force their way into the ashram.

Rampal is wanted by police for questioning in a 2006 murder case.

Police have not managed to enter the 12-acre complex. Shriniwas Vashisht, director general of police in Haryana, said the bodies of four women were handed over to authorities from inside.

It was not clear how the women died. Post mortems were being conducted, he said.

Mr Vashisht said thousands of people were pouring out of the ashram today, including many who apparently had been held against their will.

Rampal and 38 others were charged with murder and other offences after a violent clash between his supporters and another group killed one person in July 2006. He was freed on bail, which was cancelled in July after his followers entered a courtroom and threatened lawyers.

Since 2010, Rampal, an engineer-turned-guru, has ignored 43 court summonses, seeking exemptions each time. The court set a final deadline for him to appear in court on Monday, which he also ignored.

Rampal’s supporters say he is too ill to make the 155-mile journey from his ashram in Haryana’s Hisar district to the court in the state capital, Chandigarh.

Published: Wednesday 19th November 2014 by The News Editor

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