Defying non-bailable warrants issued against him, self-styled godman Rampal has not yet appeared before the Punjab and Haryana High Court. Instead, he has created quite a ruckus in Hisar, Haryana, and has encouraged his supporters to run amok.
Rampal, who is facing charges of murder conspiracy and inciting mobs, has failed to appear before the high court thrice.
Here are 5 things you need to know about the defiant godman:
1. Born on September 8, 1951, in Dhanana village near Gohana town of Haryana's Sonipat district, Rampal came from a family of farmers. He claims to be an incarnation of the 15th century mystic poet Kabir.
2. The Controversial sect leader, Rampal, whose supporters have been battling the police against his arrest, was once a junior engineer with the Haryana government. Till 2000, Rampal was Rampal Singh Jatin, a dowdy junior engineer with the irrigation department.
3. After he was found 'careless' about his work, Rampal submitted his resignation. This was finally accepted May 2000 with effect from May 1995. After quitting, Rampal, who has refused to appear before the high court despite non-bailable warrants being issued against him, devoted himself full time to becoming a godman.
4. Rampal is popular among a section of people, mostly from the lower strata of society. He preaches them not to worship gods, not to fast and not to indulge in other practices that the Hindu religion follows.
5. The godman was forced to vacate his ashram in Karontha in Haryana's Rohtak district, which was established in 1999, following clashes with religious groups in July 2006. In this clash at the Karontha ashram in 2006, one person died from bullet wounds. The police charged Rampal with murder. His sect claims that he was falsely implicated in the murder case.