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Published: Tue, August 29, 2017
Culture | By Antonia Gonzales

Indian guru sentenced to total 20 years for rape: authorities

Indian guru sentenced to total 20 years for rape: authorities

The self-styled godman was in tears and pleaded for mercy as the judge sentenced him to 10 years jail in each of the two counts of rape and criminal intimidation.

Over 30,000 followers of Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh began to disperse from his headquarters in Sirsa on Sunday, ending a tense standoff with Indian Army soldiers after the godman was convicted of raping two devotees on Friday.

The hearing to decide the quantum of sentence started at 2.30 p.m. on Monday and the judge gave 10 minutes each to the defence and prosecution sides to make their submission, court sources said.

However, the episode had had some serious fallouts as well.

Prior to his conviction, Singh was enjoying a political patronage and had cordial relations with the politicians.

Following this, arrangements were made for the sitting of a CBI Court in the Sunaria District Jail, where the rape convict is now stationed, for the pronouncement of quantum of the sentence.

Security forces have cordoned off a jail in Rohtak city, 70 km (44 miles) from New Delhi, where Singh - also known as the guru of bling for the clothes he wears in the movies he has starred in - is being held.

Image taken from here.

Singh, whose verified Twitter profile calls him a saint, philanthropist, sportsman, actor, singer, movie director, writer, lyricists, and autobiographer, has been photographed with senior BJP leaders including Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar. 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.

Violence after Friday's verdict in Panchkula in northern Haryana state had killed some 38 people. Assets to compensate the government and people's personal property after the violence, to compensate them for the property of the chief of the Dera chief.

Rohtak Range IG, Navdeep Singh Virk said no Dera follower will be allowed to enter Rohtak district or come near the jail.

Prohibitory orders barring the assembly of five or more people had been imposed in Rohtak; the area within a 10-kilometre radius of the jail premises had been cordoned off.

The special CBI court at the Panchkula district court on Friday had convicted Ram Rahim on charges of rape under Sections 376 and 506 of the IPC and later transported by a plush helicopter (for security reasons) to Sunaria Jail. He survived for a few days to name Ram Rahim in his statement to the police.

The rape case against Singh was brought after an anonymous letter was sent to then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee in 2002.

Speaking on his monthly radio program "Mann ki Baat" ("Straight From the Heart") on Sunday, Modi reminded listeners that India was the home of "Gandhi and Lord Buddha" and that violence was not in the country's culture.

A media team from a national news channel was attacked in Sirsa by Dera followers, who chased and assaulted them in presence of the Haryana Police.

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