Satlok Ashram
Satlok AshramIANS
  • Satlok Ashram
    The seat of controversial sect leader Rampal at Satlok Ashram near Barwala town in Haryana's Hisar district, 210 km from Chandigarh.IANS
  • Satlok Ashram
    Followers of controversial sect leader Rampal at Satlok Ashram near Barwala town in Haryana's Hisar district, 210 km from Chandigarh on Nov 20, 2014.IANS

As the Indian media and Haryana police unfolded Sant Rampal's Satlok Ashram after his arrest, they were surprised with its huge structure, the arms and weapons inside a religious 'mansion' and the luxury of it.

The grand structure looked more like the Agra Fort, recalled a senior police officer. "The ashram is built like a fort meant to ward off an invasion. It reminded me of the Agra fort," Hindustan Times (HT) quoted the officer as saying.

The ashram is big enough to accommodate 50,000 people with the comfort of fans and air-conditioners. The ashram had almost all the comforts of a luxury hotel.

"A private swimming pool, state-of-the art elevators, 24 AC rooms with attached bathrooms fitted with top-of-the line fixtures, Rampal, whose followers largely come from low-income strata, lived big. One of the rooms had a massage bed, another treadmills as Rampal stared down from huge wall posters," HT reported.

The police recovered a couple of almirahs full of firearms including .32 bore revolvers, .315 bore rifles, 12 bore guns, ammunition for 7.62mm rifle used in self-loading rifles (SLR), and 303 rifles. They believe that more of these will be recovered from the locked almirahs they found in the ashram, according to The Time of India report.

While many arms and weapons were recovered from bags and almirahs kept in two secret rooms, lot more were found under an elevated structure, in the centre of the ashram, where Rampal has his throne.

From what looked like three months stock of ration to feed thousands of followers Rampal had called in his ashram, it seemed he had plans to hold them inside for as long as he could have foiled his arrest.

"We had no idea how big and efficiently managed the establishment was. We now know they had enough rations to survive for three months," reports The Indian Express (IE).

There were piles of sack filled with rice, wheat and pulses, inside and outside the ashram kitchen. "Outside alone, we inventoried 58 sacks of rice, wheat and pulses. There are two storerooms we have not entered yet, and over 30 vats for food, some with fresh khichdi and kheer," a police officer said.

Thousands of mattresses, sheets and blankets were scattered around for the followers, who had been staying there for more than two weeks. The most amazing scene was the polytechnic clinic and several rooms being used for medical purposes.

"The polytechnic clinic was stocked with bandages, painkillers, antiseptic. Six waste buckets were filled with blood-soaked rags. There was a separate "injection room"and an "X-ray" room, the latter with a new Allengers X-ray machine. The room doubled up as an operation theatre; surgical equipment was next to the bed. Two other rooms had 15 beds with almirahs full of medicine including Asthalin, Novalin, Crocin and Combiflam," according to the IE.

Amid all this, the media also came across his followers who were waiting for his return and had faith in him and believed he was innocent.

"Majority of the supporters want baba back because we know that he didn't do anything wrong. Many of us knew that police will maintain the seize but still we came on baba's call," said Shailendra Kumar, a young follower of Rampal from Nodia, reports DNA.

"He is destined to return. Nobody can stop him. I am not a blind supporter of Rampal. I left my job in Saudi Arabia to come here," the youth said.