Indian police fired tear gas and used bulldozers Tuesday to scatter thousands of people who were trying to prevent the arrest of a controversial guru in northern India.

The guru, Sant Rampal, has repeatedly ignored court summons to appear for questioning in the 2006 killing of a villager by his supporters.

In recent days, his supporters who camped outside the sprawling compound, have formed a human chain around his retreat in Haryana state to prevent police from entering. Television footage showed police firing tear gas and using bulldozers to try to force their way into the compound.

Scores of Rampal's supporters were dragged away by police. It was not immediately known if they had been arrested.

The court had set a final deadline for Rampal to appear in court on Monday, which he ignored.

Rampal's supporters say he is too ill to make the 155-mile journey to the court in the state capital, Chandigarh.