Self-styled godman Rampal has been sentenced to life in jail in connection with two cases of murder. He was found guilty of murder by a court in Haryana last week, news agency ANI reported.
Rampal and 26 of his followers were convicted on October 11 by a sessions court in Hisar in two separate cases of murder and other offences. The court held Rampal and his followers guilty of two murders and other offences, including wrongful confinement of people at his Satlok Ashram in Hisar.
The cases were filed by two men who alleged that their wives were murdered inside Rampal’s ashram at Barwala village where they had been held captive by the self-styled godman and his followers.
The conviction and sentencing come after a nearly four-year-long trial of the in a makeshift court inside the Hisar district jail, where 67-year-old Rampal and his followers have been lodged since their arrest in November 2014.
Rampal was arrested after his 12-acre ashram was stormed by policemen. His followers were armed with stones, batons and guns. The days-long siege included Rampal using devotees as human shields.
In August last year, he was found not guilty of illegally confining thousands of followers and obstructing officials in 2014 when they stormed his ashram. Six people were killed as his devotees turned into a private army to prevent his arrest; hundreds were injured.
Rampal heads a sect that worships the 15th-century poet and mystic Kabir, known for a message of tolerance that is followed by people of varied faiths.