Ram Rahim guilty of rape, sentencing on Monday

Indian

Security was also beefed up in parts of northern India, including New Delhi and Lucknow. More than 15,000 police and paramilitary soldiers were posted in and around the court where the guru appeared before a judge, as Panchkula administrators feared an outbreak of violence.

In 2002 a Sadhvi in a letter written to Haryana High Court and then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee had complained about Dera chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim sexually harassing her.

The 50-year-old self-styled "godman" is known as the "guru in bling" for his penchant for bejewelled costumes, although the source of his apparently vast wealth is unclear.

Prashant Kumar, Additional Director General (ADG), Haryana Police, said there was "no confirmed report" of any casualty so far in Sirsa, but "some injuries in clashes between police and Dera followers" have been reported.

Ram Rahim has been sent to judicial custody in a jail at Rohtak after the verdict.

Some followers went berserk and also allegedly damaged OB vans of a private TV channel. Maharaj added that if the situation worsens, it should not be the state but the court that is held responsible for more violence.

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Hundreds of supporters gathered close to the court complex despite prohibitory orders.

Ram Rahim convicted in Rape case now transferred to Rohtak Jail in a helicopter.

The High Court on Thursday asked the Centre to provide additional forces ahead of the judgment.

Ram Rahim had told the court, "I am innocent". A curfew has been imposed in Patiala, Panchkula, Sirsa, Bhatinda, Ferozpur, Sirsa and Mansa, according to The Quint. As a result, soon after the verdict was announced, Ram Rahim's followers started pelting stones on the police force which responded by lobbing tear gas shells and fired in the air to disperse the mobs.

In a statement here, Sonia said that several people including children had died in the violence, and "there was widespread destruction of public property and senseless attacks" on the media.

Besides the rape charges, Singh was also under investigation over allegations that he convinced 400 of his male followers to undergo castration, charges he denies.

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