At least 28 people were killed in demonstrations in India after a man who called himself a “spiritual teacher” was convicted of a rape case against two women.
More than 100 people were injured in the clashes following the followers of the Sauda Sacha Sect, a quasi-religious sect, rejecting a guilty verdict over their leader Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh.
The singer, the leader of the social and spiritual welfare group, rejected a court ruling that established him guilty of raping two female members of his sect.
His supporters went on a rampage by closing the railway line by setting fire to two stations, attacking government buildings, and journalists in Punjab and Haryana.
The dead victim was allegedly a follower of Dera Sacha Sauda sect who always appeared in this colorful outfit. They were shot by security forces, as reported by the British daily The Independent.
Singh, who has written and starred in his own film, urged his followers in a call on television on Thursday (08/24/2017) not to commit violence.
However, AK Dhir, one of his lawyers, said Singh was innocent and his followers had the right to express their anger.
About 200,000 Singh supporters flooded the city of Chandigarh in India, where the trial was held, ahead of the hearing.
Singh himself was secured by the army following a conviction over a rape case with a sentence imposed on Monday (28/08/2017).
After the clashes erupted, more than 15,000 troops and police deployed and imposed a curfew.
The police used tear gas and water cannon to control the crowds.
Protests also erupted in New Delhi and in the state of Rajasthan. The “godman” supporters burned buses and two train cars in New Delhi.
The violence left at least 28 people dead and more than 100 injured, according to medics at Panchkula General Hospital, AFP reported.
The crime charged to Singh took place in 2002 and took place at the headquarters of the Dera Sacha Sauda group in Sirsa city, northern India.
Singh was found guilty of raping two female members of his sect in 2002, according to Hindi television channel Aaj Tak. Singh denied all the accusations.
Dera Sacha Sauda claims to have over 60 million followers around the world.
The sect, founded in 1948, promotes vegetarianism and combats drug addiction.
They provide free health care and also arrange marriages for difficult or unfortunate couples.
Indian media reported That Singh sentenced to a minimum of seven years in prison.