Ram Rahim Singh: fatal clashes follow Indian guru’s rape conviction

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At least 30 killed after spiritual leader was guilty of assaulting two female sect members

At least 30 people have been killed in riots and arson affects that have broken out across two states in northern India after a glamorous spiritual leader was imprisoned of crimes two of his female followers.

The Indian army was deployed in the city of Panchkula on Friday shortly after the court perceived Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh guilty of sexual assault. The self-styled “godman” and chairwoman of the Dera Sacha Sauda sect has been taken into custody and will reportedly be controlled by helicopter to a confinement in Haryana state before sentencing on Monday.

Authorities told the Hindustan Times that at the least 30 people had been killed across the region, with a further 250 injured.

Electricity supplyings, mobile internet and cable tv had been cut in parts of Haryana and Punjab countries before the judgment as up to 200,000 each member of the sect massed in Panchkula in a show of defiance and foundation.

Television footage on Friday afternoon registered smoke billowing above a railway station and petrol gush in Punjab that was allegedly set alight by supporters of Singh.

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Ram Rahim Singh, lead of the Dera Sacha Sauda sect. Image: Punit Paranjpe/ AFP/ Getty

A curfew was imposed in three of Punjab’s largest metropolis as hundreds of incidents of violence were reported. Correspondents on the scene in Panchkula and Sirsa- where the sect is headquartered- seemed to be singled out by the rioters.

Reporters and gang from the Hindustan Times, India Today and News1 8 have reported injuries or damage to their vehicles, while a van are subordinate to NDTV was set on fire.

Police use teargas and water cannon to contain the rioting. There were the reporting of reinforcements submerge into Panchkula, Sirsa and parts of Punjab.

Delhi is also on high alert with at the least seven the reporting of arson from all the regions of the Indian fund. Big gatherings have also been prohibited in Delhi on the basis of intelligence that sect adherents intend to demonstrate there on Saturday.

India’s prime minister, Narendra Modi, said the frictions were deep distressing. Writing on Twitter he told:” I strongly condemn the savagery& counsel everyone to maintain peace .”

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Sect representatives abolish an outside broadcast van in Panchkula during deadly riotings. Photograph: Altaf Qadri/ AP

Singh, one of the most powerful people in India, passes the 69 -year-old sect from its ashram headquarters on a sprawling, 400 -hectare( 1,000 -acre) Haryana property that includes a hotel, cinema, cricket field and schools. He claims to have 60 million partisans worldwide.

The rape accusations, which Singh repudiates, firstly surfaced in an anonymous symbol sent in 2002 to the then “ministers “, Atal Vajpayee. Scrutiny of the ashram changed when a reporter investigating Dera Sacha Sauda was shot the same year.

India’s domestic certificate authority, the CBI, alleges Singh was involved in assassinating the writer after supposing he was responsible for helping to flow the anonymous note, according to the Hindustan Times. He fronts a separate inquiry in that case and rejects the charges.

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A man does appear to plead for his safety during clashes in Panchkula on Friday. Photo: Money Sharma/ AFP/ Getty Images

Gurus are teaching influences in the lives of countless Indians, steering decisions both hallowed and banal, but few have the following of Singh or his government clout.

Singh is one of the few to frankly back political parties, throwing his support in 2014 behind the Modi government and announcing last-place November that its controversial demonetisation programme was ” in the national interest “.

In the decade that the crime tribulation has been running, Singh has continued courting both admirers and controversy.

In 2014 he performed- encrusted in rhinestones- in the first of two hagiographic cinemas about his life, in which he was credited for 30 characters including chairman, make and choreographer.

Ticket sales were initially strong- more than 150,000 attended the first film’s premiere- but apparently pennant after the CBI departed public with the allegations that Singh had been organising” mass sterilizations” of his adherents since at the least 2000. He disclaims this.

Many members of Dera Sacha Sauda are said to be Sikhs belonging to the lowest statu in civilization who are drawn to the sect’s message of equality among admirers. Most devotees take the surname “Insan”, Hindi for human, symbolising a devotion to humanity.

Other than spiritual steering, each member of the sect receive subsidised meat and drug, including management for ailments suffer from the poorest of the poor sea aspect in the town and towns across north India where the free movement of persons is concentrated.

The sect too lopes safaruss against dope and alcohol abuse, and organises blood drives, sex worker outreach programmes and relief drives after natural disasters.

Dera Sacha Sauda said in a statement that it had been “wronged” by the opinion and that it would appeal to a higher court.

” What has happened with us is something that happens to gurus through history ,” it said in a statement.” Dera Sacha Sauda is dedicated to the betterment of humanity. We seek all to maintain peace .”

More than 200 parties have reportedly been admitted to infirmary in Panchkula and the other 100 supporters of the group detained by police. A cricket stadium in the nearby municipal of Chandigargh was converted into a temporary confinement in the days before the conviction was delivered.

In neighbouring Punjab- which shares its uppercase, Chandigarh, with Haryana- the thousands of civilize business have been cancelled, while pistols and assembles have been temporarily banned.

All teaches providing services to Rohtak, where Singh is being held until Monday’s convicting, has been cancelled. He will appear in court via video association and is expected to be sentenced to at the least seven years’ prison.

The US embassy in Delhi has also liberated a wander advisory imploring its citizens in India to be wary of possible unrest.

Q& A

Why are Indians protesting against guru Ram Rahim Singh’s rape conviction?

Tens of millions of admirers of Ram Rahim Singh- self-styled “godman” and governor of India’s Dera Sacha Sauda sect- have taken to the streets after Singh was found guilty on Friday of abusing two of his female admirers more than 15 years ago.

Singh, who disavows the charge, dominates a following that he claims to be in the millions. Numerous belong to the lowest caste in civilization, drawn to the sect’s message of equality. Most devotees take the surname “Insan”, Hindi for human.

Other than spiritual advice, members too receive subsidised food and prescription, including care for cancers birth from the poorest of the poor spray tone across north India where the free movement of persons is concentrated.

Singh- one of the country’s most powerful guru- is also accused of administering mass castrations of partisans, and faces a separate court case over the deaths among a columnist probing the assault allegations. He rejects the charges.

Read more: https :// www.theguardian.com/ macrocosm/ 2017/ aug/ 25/ fears-unrest-indian-guru-convicted-rape-ram-rahim-singh-panchkula

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