Today’s At least 13 people have been killed and more than 200 injured as Panchkula turned into a virtual warzone after Dera Sacha Sauda Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh was found guilty of rape by a CBI court on Friday. The followers of the godman have gone on a rampage in three states. The rioters have torched at least two railway stations, a power grid and petrol pumps in Haryana. In Delhi, a train has been set on fire in Anand Vihar and two buses have also been torched. Media persons, including News18 staff, have also been attacked. The government’s claims of keeping the situation under control have fallen flat. The controversial godman-turned-actor now faces minimum of 10 years in jail since the victim was a minor at the time of the sexual assault.

TOI Said, The Manohar Lal Khattar government spent tense moments on Thursday, a day before a special CBI court gives its verdict in a rape case against Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh. More than 1.5 lakh of his followers gathered in Panchkula, taking over the campuses of several government buildings and plunging the city into chaos amid a looming fear of violence across Punjab and Haryana.

Further, 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. Some followers went berserk and also allegedly damaged OB vans of a private TV channel.

Police lobbed tear gas shells, used water canons and batons in an attempt to bring the situation under control. The Dera followers pelted stones and broke security cordon.

The court delivered its verdict in the case+ against the 50-year-old Dera chief after 14 long years and amid unprecedented security as thousands of Dera followers gathered in Panchkula ahead of the judgment.

Twenty-five columns of the Army and nearly 18,000 paramilitary personnel reached Panchkula even as mobile internet services were suspended in the city from Thursday. Net services would be restricted in Chandigarh from Friday. Over 700 government buses and 25 trains were cancelled as a preemptive measure. Troops were sent to Sirsa, the Deraheadquarters.


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