Mr. S. N. Vashisth was addressing the media persons here today.
He said that police team is in the midst of a very tough and sensitive operation as women and children are involved who are sitting as a shield to Rampal hiding inside the premises of ashram. Police has started its operation with the objective that no innocent person lose his life in the operation. Besides, nobody would be allowed to self-immolate, lives of innocent women and children kept forcefully inside ashram are saved and they are given an opportunity to come out of the ashram without any harm to them, he added.
He said that Court has earlier issued non-bailable warrant against Sant Rampal and has ordered to execute its orders till November 10. Now he has to be produced in the court on November 21. In order to execute High Court orders, the police and authorities during the past few days had cut off supplies to the ashram, sealed the area and diverted traffic. An appeal has also been made to all the followers to vacate the ashram as early as possible so that high court orders could be executed.
The DGP said that when police team had started this operation, the followers inside the ashram fired gun shots, pelted stones, thrown acid bombs etc on police in which about 105 police personnel got injured out of which nine have burn injuries, two have bullet injuries. One SHO got seriously injured with the gunshots. It is highly unfortunate that some journalists have been injured in this operation apart from 85 followers, he added.
He said that police had also tried to break down the wall of the ashram but have to stop in the middle after having found LPG dumping so as to prevent any casualty to the women, children and followers. Police is treading very carefully and conducting an extremely safe operation as no firing has been carried out from police side. Phone calls from the ashram had revealed that followers have been kept forcefully inside ashram.
In reply to a question, he said that followers inside the ashram have guns, revolvers and pistols and some of them are retired police personnel and ex-servicemen.
The authorities were striving hard for the safety of all those present inside the ashram and ensure their passage to safer places.