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"Messenger of God" Ram Rahim Guilty Of Rape, Violence Erupts Near Court: 10 Facts (Video)


CHANDIGARH: Just as feared, large clashes, arson and violence erupted in the town of Panchkula in Haryana after spiritual guru Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh was convicted of raping two women followers in 2002. He has been arrested and will be sentenced on Monday. The police fired in the air, and used tear gas and water cannons to try and disperse mobs of Ram Rahim supporters, but was easily outnumbered near the court which declared him guilty. More than a lakh of Ram Rahim's followers had congregated in Panchkula for the verdict, creating a precarious situation. The media was attacked - an NDTV engineer was injured on the head and the OB or live broadcast vans of channels including NDTV were smashed. Ram Rahim arrived for the verdict in a 200-car cavalcade.

Here is your 10-point sheet on Dera Chief Ram Rahim's verdict:

Ram Rahim, age 50, is being moved to a jail in Ambala, said lawyers at the Panchkula court, where violence erupted rapidly after he was declared guilty of rape.

Panchkula has been overwhelmed by one lakh followers of Ram Rahim - clusters of them proliferated over the last two days. The army is on standby at the request of Haryana Chief Minister ML Khattar.

The Punjab and Haryana High Court has authorised security forces to use force if needed, to control upset supporters; it has also warned against the use of provocative language.

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Yesterday, the High Court attacked the administration for failing to make adequate arrangements against the overwhelming presence of Ram Rahimdevotees in Panchkula.

In a video message at midnight, Ram Rahim appealed to his followers to disperse and return home, and urged them to keep calm.

His request did not deter his devotees in Panchkula who said they would remain in the town to show support for him. Many also said they wanted to glimpse him in person.

Several trains that travel through Punjab and Haryana have been cancelled. Government offices, schools and colleges are shut, and Panchkula is under curfew.

Three stadiums have been prepared as makeshift jails or holding places if crowds turn violent

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Mobile internet services have been cancelled indefinitely in Haryana, though the city of Gurgaon, which hosts large offices of multinationals, is exempt.

Ram Rahim is also known as the "Guru of Bling" on account of his taste in clothes and ornate jewellery. He has starred in two movies, Messenger of God (MSG) and its sequel, MSG2.

He is being investigated by the CBI separately for encouraging the castration of 400 men at his ashram, he allegedly told them it would bring them closer to God.

NDTV crew reportedly hurt in violence after Ram Rahim Singh convicted by Panchkula's Special CBI Court

There is massive police security; the Army has been called in and is monitoring the situation with the state government. The union Home Ministry has said it is watching closely from a Delhi control room.

'Armed' With Sticks, Ram Rahim's Women Followers Take Turns To Guard Dera