M A I N   N E W S

Rohtak ashram evacuated, but blockade continues
* One of the victims cremated
* Body of another shifted for autopsy
Bijendra Ahlawat/TNS

Rohtak, May 15
The district authorities got the controversial Satlok Ashram fully vacated today after Rampal followers agreed to leave the premises in the afternoon.

The protesters backed by the Arya Pratinidhi Sabha later allowed the cremation of one of the victims, Parmila (38), who was killed in Sunday’s firing. The body of another victim, Udaiveer (28), was shifted to the PGIMS for a post-mortem examination.

The protesters, however, continued to squat on the Rohtak-Jhajjar highway demanding demolition of the ashram, release of compensation to the victims and withdrawal of cases registered against them.

A spokesperson for the police department claimed the dispute had been resolved with the vacation of the ashram. Parmila’s body was cremated in the evening, while Baliyana resident Udaiveer’s body was likely to be cremated tomorrow after the autopsy, he said.

The family had shifted Udaiveer’s body to the scene of the protest on Tuesday following standoff over the occupation of the ashram by Rampal followers. The ashram was locked by the followers in the presence of district officials after they agreed to shift to his Barwala ashram. This prompted the protesters to relent and allow the cremation of Parmila’s body and shifting of Udaiveer’s body to the hospital around 6.30 pm.

The protesters had kept the bodies of two of the three victims killed in police firing on the highway to push the authorities to agree to their demands.

Sources said Rampal’s followers had locked the ashram and agreed not to visit the premises without prior information. The authorities, however, agreed to raise a wall in front of the ashram gate and depute a group of villagers for round-the-clock vigil. With protesters refusing to budge from the protest scene, the movement of traffic on the highway continued to be suspended for the fourth day today.

Authorities were in talks with the protesters to lift the blockade and restore the movement of traffic, said sources in the administration. The traffic was likely to be restored by tomorrow, they added. More than 2,000 policemen, including paramilitary personnel, remained posted at the scene and were likely to stay there till the highway was cleared.





HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Letters | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | E-mail |