Millennium Post

Septic tank death: Cops arrest ashram manager

New Delhi: Walking in the area connecting the ashram of jailed godman Rampal in Mundaka, one can see black-coloured water on the road due to chemicals coming from the cleaning of drums from a storage area. Moving inside the ashram, one can witness the septic tank which claimed the life of two persons.
Though the followers inside the ashram claimed that there was no negligence from their side but Delhi Police arrested the manager of the ashram, identified as Chand Rathi, after they found laxity during their investigation. Near the deadly septic tank, there was a Bhandara Griha where people were making food. A big pandal was set up inside where in one side men take shelter and women in the other. According to a police official, the post mortem was not yet done and will take time.
Even after the incident on Monday, many devotees were seen coming to the ashram.
"More than 500 people come here every day and things are normal here. After the incident, people are coming to provide help," said a devotee. One of the devotee, BD Sharma said that the ashram is situated between several factories from where chemicals come out and make toxic gases.
Two persons Makhan Lal and Amarjeet who died on Monday claimed to have visited the official many times but no records were maintained by the ashram official.
The other victim, Naveen, is still in hospital and unconscious.
"We did not maintain any records when they came. It depends on their reverence," said Sharma, adding that the depth of the septic tank was of eight feet.
SDM Punjabi Bagh, Santosh Kumar with some police personnel visited the spot on Tuesday and started his investigation. Police sources claimed that the septic tank was reopened which was filled with dirty water. The investigators took a sample of the water and checked the depth of the tank.
After his investigation, SDM came out and told this newspaper that they have found several lapses in the ashram as the victims were not provided proper safety gears.
According to officials, some area of railway line near the ashram is encroached and they are investigating whether the ashram officials have any permission before setting up the place.
"Initial investigation revealed that so far they have found no permission," said a source.The devotees have claimed that they have not encroached the area.
Woman saw husband going inside sewer
New Delhi: Two days ago when Poonam came with her husband Makhan Lal in the ashram of jailed godman Rampal in outer Delhi's Mundaka area, she had never thought they will get separated, as in front of her eyes her husband went inside the septic tank and his body returned after few minutes.
The natives of Janakpur in Nepal, the couple have been visiting the ashram to hear Satsang programme.
On the day of the incident, the sewer which was located in the entry gate of the ashram, Makhan Lal entered the tank which was stuck because of garbage.
"He gave his clothes, mobile phone and told me that he was going inside and started fetching the water from the bucket and throwing outside. He then went to the depth and collapsed due to the toxic gases. Two more person, Amarjeet and Mukesh got inside to save him but they also went unconscious," said Poonam. While Amarjeet also died in the tank,s Mukesh was reported to be critical.
According to people who were there in the ashram, the incident occurred within seven to eight minutes.
"After the incident, we quickly rushed him to the hospital. It was the first time such type of incident happened in the place which has been running from two years and the septic tank was cleaned earlier as well," said Ranbir Singh, a devotee.
The couple married six years ago and had two children aged two and three years.
The woman also claimed that she did not want to conduct postmortem and want her husband's body.
According to other godman followers, he had came to ashram several times where he performed several duties and then returned to his hometown.
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