Five killed in violence after Dera chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim's conviction

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Violence in Panchkula post Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh Conviction
Violence in Panchkula post Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh Conviction

Panchkula : At least five people have died in the violence by Dera Sacha Sauda followers on Friday after the conviction of controversial sect chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh in a rape case, police sources said here.

Tens of thousands of followers of the Dera chief went on a rampage, burning vehicles and buildings and attacking media persons, after a special CBI court here pronounced the verdict in the 2002 case.

Violence erupted in several towns of Punjab and Haryana soon after a CBI special court on Friday held controversial godman Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh guilty of the rape and sexual exploitation two female disciples in 2002.

Attempts were made to burn two railways stations in Punjab's Malout and Mansa towns by agitated followers of the self-styled godman.

Unconfirmed reports said six masked miscreants damaged and set on fire an Income Tax vehicle in Mansa.

Curfew has been imposed in Mansa, Bathinda and Ferozepore districts of Punjab, following largescale violence.

In Panchkula town where the CBI court is located, the sect followers set afire more than 100 vehicles after the court verdict.

The sect chief was taken into custody following his conviction by trial court judge Jagdeep Singh. The sentencing is set for Monday. 

Security personnel used teargas to disperse thousands of angry Dera followers in Panchkula.

Punjab Chief Amarinder Singh and Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar appealed to the people to maintain calm.