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Indian godman get life in jail for murdering woman devotee

Indian godman get life in jail for murdering woman devotee

17 October 2018 Wednesday 14:19
Indian godman get life in jail for murdering woman devotee

NEW DELHI

A court in the northern Indian state of Haryana Wednesday sentenced a self-styled godman and his devotees to life in jail for murdering a woman in 2014.

This is the second life term given to Rampal and his 13 followers in the past 24 hours. They were sentenced to life imprisonment Tuesday also for killing four women and a baby that year.  

"Additional district and sessions judge of Hisar, Desraj Chalia, handed down the punishment to the godman and his followers in the second murder case this morning," a lawyer said. 

Rampal and his 13 followers were convicted in both the cases last week. 

Local TV channels showed footage of massive security arrangements in the district to avoid any untoward incident in the aftermath of the judgment. 

The two cases date back to November 2014, when the five women and the baby suffocated after being locked in a room while Rampal's supporters clashed with police at his ashram. 

Cops had then barged into the godman's ashram on the orders of the high court of Punjab and Haryana states after he repeatedly failed to appear in a court in another murder case. 

Rampal was arrested by police and charged with murder, conspiracy, possessing illegal weapons, abetting suicide and waging war against the state. He is currently in jail. 

Born in 1951 to a poor farmer family in Haryana, Rampal began his career as a government employee. But some 18 years ago, he resigned from his job and became a godman. He has tens of thousands of devotees in several northern Indian states.

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