Fri Oct 20 2017, 13:54:51 +03

Indian court sentences ‘guru’ to 10 years in prison, fears of more violence grows

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(New Delhi-AlummahWorld-Dhu-AlHijjah 06,1438H) An Indian judge sentenced a self-styled ‘GURU’ whose followers went on a deadly rampage after he was convicted of rape last week, to 10 years’ jail on Monday.

The defence lawyer S K Garg Narwana was quoted as saying that the Judge Jagdeep Singh pronounced two sentences of 10 years’ rigorous imprisonment in each of the two cases that date back to 2002.

Security forces in India's northern Haryana state were on high alert ahead of the sentencing of a controversial spiritual leader whose supporters were involved in deadly protests Friday following his conviction for rape.

At least 36 people were killed in Friday's violence and hundreds more injured, as supporters of Singh's rampaged through several northern states of India, setting fire to empty train carriages and burning cars. Fears of more violence are growing as authorities arresting followers of notorious guru in several parts of the country.

There were no reports of violence after Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh was sentenced on Monday. Ten of thousands of police enforced a lockdown in large parts of the northern states of Haryana and Punjab where Singh, 50, has a mass following. Military was also on standby ahead of Indian guru's rape sentencing. A curfew was reportedly imposed in Haryana.

Police in Haryana issued orders to shoot protesters on sight ahead of the sentencing and ordered the hearing to be carried out inside the prison where Singh was being held.

Hundreds of followers went on the rampage when he was convicted on Friday, attacking train stations, buses and television vans.

At least 38 people were killed and more than 200 injured, triggering criticism that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ruling party, which also governs the state of Haryana, was either unable or unwilling to act against Singh’s followers.

Singh is currently being held at Rohtak jail, after arriving there by helicopter Friday from the courthouse in Panchkula. His sentencing will be carried out behind locked doors inside the prison, Monday, in a move officials hope will prevent the guru's supporters gathering outside.

The case dates back to 2002 when two women followers accused Singh of rape at the headquarters of his Dera Sacha Sauda in the town of Sirsa. Guru such as Singh is not a single case but Indian society is full of such self-claimed spiritual leaders.

Singh, the controversial guru is a surprisingly influential figure in India, where he is considered a cult icon and performer while most of the political parties including ruling BJP of prime minister Narendra Modi was in close relations with him as politicians in India always seek support from guru Singh like figures.

Known for his actor, singer and film style hero, Singh is also a star of five films and numerous popular music videos. His look is part-biker gang member, part Hindu epic hero.

Guru such as Singh is not a single case but Indian society is full of such self-claimed spiritual leaders affiliated with politicians and political parties. Human rights activists, lawyers and analysts are demanding to raid on guru`s stronghold to reveal full details of his illegal conducts and mysterious political links with ruling Bhartia Janta Party.