Indian court jails rapist 'godman' for 20 years amid tight security

29 August, 2017, 01:04 | Author: Chad Mckenzie
  • Sight, sound of fear from 100 yards away

But a spokesman for the Central Bureau of Investigation, which investigated the rape allegations against Mr. Singh, later said that he would serve the sentence consecutively.

Indian security forces have been put on high alert ahead of the sentencing of a controversial guru convicted of rape. The high court had even warned Sandhu that action would be taken if there was a repeat of the February 2016 violence in the wake of the Jat quota agitation, which had resulted in the death of 30.

The guru is expected to appeal.

As per rules in rape cases with a sentence of 10-years, the sentence will not be suspended for at least the next two to three years, said legal experts. The case is still pending in court.

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India has deployed thousands of riot police and shuts down internet services in Punjab and Haryana states, as court will hold special hearing against a religious personality Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh on Monday. Thousands of Mr. Singh's followers had gathered in Panchkula in Haryana State, where the verdict was announced.

Immediately after his conviction on Friday, large-scale violence broke out in Panchkula and Sirsa and at other places in Haryana and neighbouring Punjab which left 38 people dead and 267 injured. The chief minister informed the Governor that of the 32 people killed in police firing in Panchkula on August 25, 12 were reported to be from Punjab.

Ram Rahim was finally convicted of rape by the special CBI Court in Panchukla on Friday and faces jail term of upto 7 years. The Punjab and Haryana High Court asked the CBI to look into the accusations, but it took years to trace the alleged victims and it was not until 2007 that two women came forward and filed their complaint.

The Dera's Sirsa headquarters is a huge township that houses schools, a hospital and a cinema.

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"We have ensured that no Dera follower is allowed to enter the entire Rohtak district or move around Sunaria jail", Rohtak Range Inspector General of Police Navdeep Singh Virk said.

On Friday, after he was flown to the Rohtak jail, he was lodged in the jail (Prisoner No. 1997).

Singh has been under investigation for two homicides, one of his followers and another of a journalist who investigated Dera's activities.

The Dera chief, who is reverently referred to as "Baba" by his legions of followers, is also linked to the murder of one of his disgruntled devotees Ranjit Singh. He survived for a few days to name Ram Rahim in his statement to the police.

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- People have vacated Dera Sacha Sauda Ashram in Bajenka village and the whole premises are being inspected by Police and Army in located in Sirsa district of Haryana. The quantum of sentence for Ram Rahim Singh who was stripped off "Z" category security will be pronounced on August 28.

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