'Godman' convicted of rape, 13 killed in ensuing protests

'Godman' convicted of rape, 13 killed in ensuing protests

'Godman' convicted of rape, 13 killed in ensuing protests

A CBI special court Friday convicted Dera Sacha Sauda (DSS) chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh in a rape case, leading to violence by his supporters across states despite strong military and police presence. Apparently, Dera Sacha Sauda's manager, Ranjit Singh and Poora Sach's editor, Ram Chander Chhatrapati, who was covering the case, were both shot dead on Singh's instructions.

There were reports that rioters torched buses in the Loni area of Ghaziabad, but district magistrate Ministhy S Nair said the situation was under control.

After his conviction, Gurmeet Ram Rahim was lodged in a make-shift jail at Sunaria in Rohtak amid tight security.

Thousands of Singh's supporters kicked off a round of violent riots across three states, the worst-hit being the city of Panchkula in Haryana, after the Dera head was convicted of rape on Friday. Public property and vehicles are being targeted by the mobs.

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The police and paramilitary forces could not react adequately as the mobs indulged in violence.

Bhadu said that most of the deaths were due to bullet injuries.

About Harpreet DandiwalHarpreet Dandiwal is a medical professional who works at a reputed hospital in Chandigarh.

He added that there were incidents of arson and the situation was closely being monitored. However, no casualty was reported. Twelve trains from Jammu and six trains from Katra were cancelled.

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Arsonists attempted to set fire to Dagru railway station which falls between Moga and Ferozepur, police said.

The official said 120 people had been admitted to the hospital and the army was called in to quell the violence, which had since subsided. Dera Sacha Sauda sect, Gurmeet Ram Rahim has always been surrounded by controversies.

The court also directed the central government to provide additional forces to Punjab.

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Another resident, a senior citizen, said he had never seen anything like this before in Panchkula, a peaceful city overlooking the Shivalik hills in the backdrop.

The court will have further hearing in the matter on Saturday.

Taking cognizance of the tense situation in the state, Haryana Chief Minister had said that culprits will be punished. Singh, who rushed to his office directly from the airport after arriving from Kyrgyz Republic, assured them all assistance in restoring peace.

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