Bhopal: Hundreds of followers of Rampal created a din at a function attended by President Ram Nath Kovind here on Friday, vociferously demanding the release of the self-styled godman, and a CBI probe into allegations against him.
In a bid to pacify them, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan asked Rampal’s followers to submit a memorandum listing their demands.
They promptly handed over the memorandum to officials present there who gave it to Chouhan. The chief minister handed over the document to Kovind on the dais itself.
Chouhan remarked from the stage, “Everybody has the right to speak in a democracy.”
As soon as the president came on stage for the ‘Kabir Mahotsav’, Rampal’s followers, drawn from different parts of Madhya Pradesh, began noisily demanding the religious guru’s release and CBI probe into the charges against him.
When Chouhan was speaking before the president, they made so much noise that the chief minister had to request them for calm.
Rajesh Nauriya (38), a disciple of the self-styled godman, said, “Rampal is an ardent follower of Kabir. Why he is being ill-treated?”
“A CBI probe should be conducted into the allegations against our guru and he should be set free,” he said.
Bhopal Collector Sudam Khade said he does not know the details of the memorandum. “I only know they have demanded some CBI probe.”
Asked how so many Rampal followers could enter the event venue, Lal Parade Ground, Khade said they were all ‘Kabir Panthis’ (followers of the 15th century Indian mystic poet and saint).
It was only after Kovind accepted the memorandum peace could be restored.
On August 29, a court in Haryana acquitted Rampal, arrested in 2014, in two criminal cases. However, he continues to remain in jail since there are other cases pending against him.