Barwala (AsiaNews) - The Haryana police yesterday evening arrested Baba Ramdev, the controversial Hindu guru charged with murder, ending a week of violence. In the ashram where he was hiding, protected with petrol bombs and firearms by his devotees, the police have found the bodies of four women and a child. A fifth woman, aged 20, died at a local hospital after leaving the camp. The causes of these deaths are still unclear. According to the police, the victims "did not bear any injuries".
Over the past three days clashes between officers and followers of
the guru intensified, causing about
200 casualties. Police said
that Baba Rampal, 63, refues to not give himself up. Before the
arrest, the police managed to evacuate
more than 16 thousand devotees and help them return
to their homes.
Some of them reported not being able to leave the ashram before because they were threatened by the guru's followers, and that women and children were used as human shields to prevent the police from storming the compound.
At least 270 people were arrested in connection with the recent violence and charged with rioting, unlawful confinement, attempted murder and sedition against the state. Baba Rampal is charged with the murder of one of his followers, which took place in 2006 in another of his ashrams.