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Gurmeet Ram Rahim’s followers turns violent, 11 Killed and over 100 injured in Panchkula

Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh was Friday found guilty of raping two ‘sadhvis’ (female followers) in 2002. The Panchkula court will decide the quantum of punishment on Monday. A few minutes after the verdict was delivered, protesters turned violent taking law into their hands.

Eleven people reportedly killed, over 100 others injured in Panchkula in the ongoing violent protest following conviction of Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh in the 2002 rape case.

Curfew has been imposed in Panchkula as Dera followers attacked media persons and vandalised media vans. Many vehicles have been set on fire in the city.

According to an eyewitness, police used tear gas and resorted to lathicharge in Sector 5 Panchkula as crowd turn violent. Live bullets were fired in the air to disperse crowds.

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Apart from Punjab and Haryana, Delhi and several areas in Rajasthan have been put on high alert. Heavy force deployment in Sirsa and Rapid Action Force also reached the district.

The charges against Gurmeet Ram Rahim date back to 2002, when a Dera sadhvi wrote an anonymous letter to then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee saying she was raped by the Dera chief. In the letter, the sadhvi also accused Gurmeet Ram Rahim of raping several other female followers inside the sprawling Dera campus on the outskirts of Sirsa in the state of Haryana.

Following the letter, a case was registered by the CBI against the self-styled godman after allegations of sexual exploitation of the sadhvis. The sadhvis reportedly made shocking allegations against Ram Rahim and two of them accused him of having raped them on account of ‘purity’. The hearing in the case has been on since 2007 when the CBI filed a chargesheet against the Dera chief.

The Dera chief consistently called the charges false and baseless and has told the court that he is “not capable of” engaging in physical relations.

He also faces trial in another case involving the murder of a journalist, Ram Chander Chhatrapati and his follower Ranjit Singh in 2002.

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