30 killed in protests after court convicts Dera chief in rape case

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Haryana: On Friday following the news broke that chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh had been convicted of rape by CBI special court, their followers of the Dera Sacha Sauda sect went on the rampage over the city and in the protest over 30 people were killed and 250 other wounded in Panchkula and other parts of Haryana.

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Anger broke following Ram Rahim’s supporters pelted stones on security forces and set ablaze numerous parked vehicles and public property. They also hurt OB vans belonging to TV channels and assaulted on the public.

On Friday security forces fired teargas shells used water cannons and batons and commenced firing in an effort to bring the circumstances under control. Army officials have been taken over in Panchkula, and at least 600 personnel have been deployed crossways the city.

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Former thousands of Ram Rahim’s followers had converged on Panchkula in expectation of the court verdict over the precedent few days, leading to violence. Godman, who drove from his Sirsa headquarters to Panchkula on Friday morning, was taken into custody instantly following the decision.

Vivek Bhadu, Chief Medical Officer conveyed that over 17 people killed in Panchkula’s civil hospital and around 250 wounded. Furthermore seven deaths were recorded at PGIMER Hospital in Chandigarh, whereas four dies at Chandigarh’s Government Medical College, hospital.

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CBI counsel H.P.S Verma also further conveyed that CBI judge Jagdeep Singh, as holding the Dera chief guilty of rape, fixed August 28 as the day for assertion of the quantum of sentence. Ram Rahim, convicted under Sections 376 and 506 of the IPC, could serve at least of seven years in jail.

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The court had previous week reserved its judgment and directed the Dera chief to be present on August 25 for the judgment. The district administration imposed curfew all over Panchkula. Godman was said to have been airlifted to Rohtak following his conviction, and is being kept at the Police Training College rest house in Sunaria, Rohtak.

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