National

Rampal Arrested, His Maoist Link Suspected

Hisar, Nov 20: Finally Haryana police arrested the controversial Sant Rampal ending a two-week stand-off with the police on Wednesday evening amidst crowd gathered at his Ashram premises in Hisar.

He was caught at around 9.15 pm and taken by an ambulance to Rohtak where he underwent medical test. The self proclaimed godman, who was guarded by his own armymen, was forced to give in to police after the government ordered to conduct operation to nab him.

He will be produced before a court today. The 63-year-old has been charged with sedition or waging war against the nation.

Police suspected his links with the Maoists as many rebels were said to have hidden inside the Ashram. Even many people with criminal record were residing there under his protection.

Mahaveer Saklani, who was arrested in August, believed to be a sub-area commander in the banned CPI (Maoist), was staying at the Barwala ashram of Rampal before he was picked up from Gurgaon in a joint operation with the Special Task Force (STF) of Bihar Police.

Central intelligence sources told HT that Saklani, who hails from East Champaran district in Bihar, had slipped into Nepal a few years ago, but returned to India and settled down at the Barwala ashram.

Saklani is believed to have helped the followers of Rampal to guard the campus during his stay there. He instructed them on to how to make petrol bombs and gave them rudimentary training in firearms.

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