Monday, 28 August 2017

'Godman' who raped women jailed for 20 years by Indian judge

A self-styled "godman" who was found guilty of raping two female devotees has been jailed for 20 years by a judge in India.

Violent protests broke out after spiritual guru Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh was convicted last week - leaving at least 38 people dead and hundreds more injured.

Amid fears of further clashes, the judge flew to the prison where he is being held to deliver the sentence.

Indian paramilitary personnel walk towards the "Dera Sacha Sauda" Ashram in Sirsa on August 26, 2017, after followers of controversial guru Ram Rahim Singh on August 25 went on a rampage after their spiritual leader was convicted of rape.

Security was dramatically tightened at the jail in the northern town of Rohtak. Roads were lined with barbed-wire barricades and the prison's library was turned into a makeshift courtroom.

Singh was sentenced to 10 years behind bars for each conviction, and the terms will run consecutively.

"Shoot on sight" orders have been put in place if anyone tries to start a protest, with curfews imposed in states where Singh has loyal support.

An estimated 4,000 government troops are also patrolling the small town where the sprawling headquarters of his Dera Sacha Sauda sect is based.

The 50-year-old, who is known as the "guru in bling", claims to have more than one million followers.

A spokeswoman for the sect has urged them to respect the court's order.

SKY              News.

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