Bodies found after India guru clash

Bodies found after India guru clash

Bodies found after India guru clash

Written by Bella Dalima

19 Nov, 2014 | 4:26 pm

Indian police say the bodies of four women and a child have been found at the ashram of a controversial guru following clashes between his supporters and the security forces.

Their cause of death is being investigated.

Police tried to storm the complex in northern Haryana state on Tuesday. Nearly 200 people were injured.

The self-styled guru, known as Rampal, is wanted in connection with a 2006 murder case and for contempt of court.

Several thousand policemen are still outside the ashram and the situation is described as tense.

A week-long stand-off at the Satlok Ashram – some 170km (105 miles) north-east of Delhi – escalated on Tuesday as police moved in to arrest Rampal.

Police fired tear gas and used bulldozers to try to break into the sprawling complex, while ashram members threw stones and other missiles and opened fire.

Police say the bodies of those brought out of the ashram on Wednesday did not “bear any injuries”.

A fifth woman, aged 20, who came out of the ashram early on Wednesday in a “serious condition” had died in a local hospital.

Outside the ashram, there’s a long line of buses that have carried police officers from neighbouring areas. Scattered around the buses are vehicles belonging to the media.

There’s just one road that leads to the ashram from Bawala town and that’s been blocked by the police to the public.

Many people visit the guru, believing he can cure them or their relatives of their illnesses, say police who accuse his armed supporters of holding people hostage and using women and children as human shields.

Some 10,000 of these devotees left the ashram overnight after police suspended operations, another 5,000 people were still holed up inside.

At least 270 people have been arrested in connection with Tuesday’s clashes and charged with rioting, illegal detention, attempt to murder and waging war against the state.

Police believe Rampal is still inside the ashram, despite the guru’s spokesperson telling the media that he had already “been shifted out and is undergoing treatment in a private hospital outside the state”.




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