The CBI Court on Friday convicted Dera Sacha Sauda Chief Gurmit Ram Rahim Singh in a 15-year-old rape case. After the verdict, Dera Chief was taken into custody but the quantum of sentence will be announced on August 28.
Ram Rahim can be sentenced to 7 years in prison which can be extended to life imprisonment.
Soon after the verdict, supporters of the popular Guru resorted to violence and police had to lathi-charge and fire live bullets in the air to disperse the mob.
The supporters of Dera chief started attacking media vans and they have set Income tax office in Panchkula ablaze.
There were also reports coming in from various sources that police have also fired tear gas shells and baton charged on violent supporters.
Curfew imposed in Bhatinda, Firozpur, Muktsar and 2 more districts of Punjab.
Dera Chief often called as “Pitaji” (Father) by his followers will be airlifted from Panchkula court and will be shifted to Rohtak jail, said reports.
Earlier, Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, the third chief of Dera Sacha Sauda arrived in the Panchkula Court with his cavalcade of more than 100 cars.
Tens of thousands of Dera chief supporters had started gathering in Sirsa, Panchkula, Chandigarh and others parts of Punjab and Haryana. Authorities have suspended internet services in parts of Haryana and Punjab and section 144 was imposed anticipating violence.
The sexual exploitation case was registered against the head of the sect, which is based in Sirsa in Haryana, in 2002 by the CBI on the directions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court after anonymous letters were circulated about the alleged exploitation of two 'Sadhvis' (female followers) by Gurmeet Ram Rahim.
Ram Rahim has also had a run-in earlier with Sikh radicals for allegedly dressing up as the 10th Sikh master, Guru Gobind Singh, in 2007 among other instances considered blasphemous by a section of the community.
(With PTI Inputs)