Murdered scribe's son welcomes sentencing of Dera chief by Indian court

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A judge on Monday sentenced a popular and flamboyant Indian spiritual guru to a total of 20 years in prison on charges of raping two female followers.

Speaking to ANI, Defense lawyer, SK Garg Nawvana said that the Judge announced 10 years imprisonment and Rs.15 lakh fine each in 2 cases and Rs.14 lakh each to be paid to both victims.

Indian policemen walk in front of a store belonging to Dera Sacha Sauda sect chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh after it was sealed by authorities, near Sonipat, India on Saturday.

Amarinder has submitted a detailed report to the governor, claiming that the state continued to be peaceful but his government was maintaining constant vigil and surveillance to ensure that no one disturbs the law and order. A curfew was imposed in parts of Haryana and Punjab states.

The verdict was delivered amid tight security in Rohtak where security forces were given "shoot-at-sight" orders, to deal with any miscreants after more than 30 lives were lost in violence in Panchkula on Friday after the CBI court held him guilty. The Punjab & Haryana High Court ordered periodical monitoring of Dera activities.

Ram Rahim also broke down and begged for forgiveness with folded hands when the first sentence was passed.

Cell number 1997 in Rohtak central prison is the new address of Ram Rahim for the next 20 years unless he gets some relief from a higher court.

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He then refused to leave the court room, in the jail library, said the report.

Though initially 18 women reportedly gave evidence against the Dera chief during the CBI investigation, only two agreed to depose in court.

Singh's followers had went on a rampage on Friday and attacked journalists, police and even damaged vehicles and public properties after the conviction of their leader in a rape case. In the 2009 election in Haryana, the dera followers were directed to vote for the Congress party. At least 38 people were killed and more than 200 injured.

Many of Singh's followers are Sikh Dalits, who sit at the bottom of the social hierarchy.

A lawyer for the victims said "40-50 women" had come forward with allegations of rape and they would be seeking further investigation in the case. It said the government let Panchkula burn for political gains.

"My father's case is also being heard by the same judge who convicted the Dera head in two rape cases".

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