A whopping Rs 26.61 crore was spent on the arrest of self-styled godman Rampal and security arrangements for producing him in court in the contempt case, the Punjab and Haryana High Court was informed today.
Under heavy security cover, the controversial godman was produced before a division bench of justices M Jeyapaul and Darshan Singh here which adjourned the contempt proceedings to December 23 when Rampal along with two other contemnors Ram Kanwar Dhaka and O P Hooda have been directed to be present before the court again.
After the high court issued directions for submitting a statement detailing the expenses incurred on making security arrangements in connection with the appearance of Rampal and his arrest, the states of Haryana and Punjab, Union Territory Chandigarh and the Centre submitted expenditure to the tune of Rs 26.61 crore with the court.
In an affidavit, Haryana DGP S N Vashisht pegged the total expenditure incurred on the Rampal’s arrest at Rs 15.43 crore.
This expenditure includes Rs 2.19 crore as damage to public property, government property, farm crop, over Rs 7 crore spent on deployment of police officials including two IGP rank officers, over 5,000 other police officials, Rs 1.69 crore spent by railway police, Rs 2.36 crore as transport expenditure and Rs 4.50 lakh expenditure on ‘food for force’ while carrying out operation to arrest Rampal from his Satlok Ashram at Barwala in Hisar.
While Punjab and Chandigarh submitted expenditure of Rs 4.34 crore and 3.29 crore respectively on the arrangements for producing Rampal in the court, the Centre said Rs 3.55 crore was spent till November 20.
Wearing a sleeveless jacket and blue shirt, an unshaved Rampal arrived in the court room around 9:30 am. He appeared to be calm and unnerved during the entire court proceedings.
63-year-old Rampal was arrested on November 19 after a two-week tense standoff between his supporters and the police after close to 15,000 of his followers were evacuated from the sprawling premises.