Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh+ was found guilty of rape by a special CBI court in Panchkula, Haryana, on Friday. He was immediately taken into judicial custody; he will be sentenced on Monday.
The Dera head+ was present in court when the judgment was read out. A rape conviction carries a minimum sentence of seven years and a maximum of 10 years. Soon after the Dera chief’s conviction, followers pelted stones and broke barricades following which police lobbed tear gas shells and fired in the air.
Immediately after the verdict, many Dera followers including large number of women started crying.
Shortly after a special CBI court convicted Dera chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh of rape in a 2002 case, more than 50 private and government vehicles were torched in Panchkula on Friday as police fired several rounds of tear gas to quell the protesting supporters of the self-styled godman. Ram Rahim Singh was accused of raping two ‘sadhvis’ (female followers), in 2002 and the case came to trial in 2008. He has denied all charges against him. The court complex, where the verdict was announced, was protected by three layers of security, with 150 personnel of Haryana Police and paramilitary forces guarding it over a radius of 200 meters. Meanwhile, a curfew has been imposed in Punjab’s Bathinda, Mansa, Ferozepur, Muktsar, Malout, Budhlada.