Haryana Director General of Police S. N. Vashisth on Tuesday said that Haryana Police operation at Satlok Ashram will continue till the arrest of Sant Rampal and till he is produced before the Punjab and Haryana High Court. Rampal is still inside the Ashram and Police will arrest him from there.
He said that police team is in the midst of a very tough and sensitive operation as women and children are involved who are sitting as a shield to Rampal hiding inside the premises of ashram. Police has started its operation with the objective that no innocent person lose his life in the operation. Besides, nobody would be allowed to self-immolate, lives of innocent women and children kept forcefully inside ashram are saved and they are given an opportunity to come out of the ashram without any harm to them, he added.
Vashisth said that Court has earlier issued non-bailable warrant against Sant Rampal and has ordered to execute its orders till November 10. Now he has to be produced in the court on November 21. In order to execute High Court orders, the police and authorities during the past few days had cut off supplies to the ashram, sealed the area and diverted traffic. An appeal has also been made to all the followers to vacate the ashram as early as possible so that high court orders could be executed.
The DGP said that when police team had started this operation, the followers inside the ashram fired gun shots, pelted stones, thrown acid bombs etc on police in which about 105 police personnel got injured out of which nine have burn injuries, two have bullet injuries. One SHO got seriously injured with the gunshots. It is highly unfortunate that some journalists have been injured in this operation apart from 85 followers, he added.
S N Vashisth said that police had also tried to break down the wall of the ashram but have to stop in the middle after having found LPG dumping so as to prevent any casualty to the women, children and followers. Police is treading very carefully and conducting an extremely safe operation as no firing has been carried out from police side. Phone calls from the ashram had revealed that followers have been kept forcefully inside ashram.
In reply to a question, he said that followers inside the ashram have guns, revolvers and pistols and some of them are retired police personnel and ex-servicemen.
The authorities were striving hard for the safety of all those present inside the ashram and ensure their passage to safer places.
S.N Vashisth has said that Haryana Police is committed to ensure the safety and security of media persons in the State.
Vashisth, who was addressing the media persons here today was replying to the question on the police action at Satlok Ashram where some of the media persons got injured while discharging their duties.
Describing Media as its allies, he said that Haryana Police have taken along the media at the first place while conducting such a sensitive operation. ‘We have nothing to hide; we want media on our side so that the world knows what the truth is. Which is why we had granted permission to 86 media persons to cover the operation,” he added.
The DGP assured that the moment the operation is over, an independent inquiry would be conducted into the unfortunate incident with the media persons during the operation at Satlok Ashram. Appropriate action would be taken against those found guilty, he added.
Urging the media to cover this entire police operation in a true spirit, Principal Secretary to Chief Minister and Principal Secretary, Information, Public Relations and Cultural Affairs Department Mr Sanjeev Kaushal said that media persons whose equipment have been damaged due to this unfortunate incident would be suitable compensated.
When the DGP was asked to comment whether orders has been issued to the police to restrain the media persons from covering the police operation at the Satlok Ashram, Vashisth denied having issued such orders and said that neither such an orders has been issued nor it would be issued in future also.