Indian guru rape: Friday protest claims about 30 lives
At least 30 people were killed on Friday during protests after the ruling against Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, BBC News report. According to the report, ‘they were believed to be followers of the self-styled guru,’ many of these people were reportedly killed by gunfire.
Singh was found guilty of raping two women at the headquarters of his sect, the Dera Sacha Sauda, in 2002. Despite the deployment of security forces around town, angry supporters rampaged through Panchkula, near Chandigarh.
Following the rampage, the state government in Haryana has ordered a search of all centres there that belong to Singh’s followers. Officials said security personnel would seize any weapons they found.
BBC News reports that troops have approached the sect’s headquarters near the town of Sirsa, and are trying to establish contact with those inside. Barricades have also been placed at entry points to the premises, where around 100,000 people are believe to be sheltering.
As at press time, Police has arrested some 2,500 of the guru’s devotees after 200,000 flocked to Panchkula ahead of Friday’s verdict. Some smashed cars and set media vans alight, insisting he was innocent.
According to BBC News, thousands of army, police and paramilitary forces have been deployed. They have since been firing tear-gas canisters and water cannon into the crowd to try to restore control.
On the case, BBC further reports that the guru is expected to get a prison term of at least seven years when he is sentenced on Monday.
Correspondent: Ridwan A Olayiwola