India guru rape case: Violence as Ram Rahim Singh convicted

India guru rape case: Violence as Ram Rahim Singh convicted: Violence has broken out in the northern city of Chandigarh after a popular Indian guru was convicted of rape. Angry supporters of Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh smashed cars and set media vans on fire, the BBC’s Robin Singh says.

Forces are firing tear gas canisters and water cannon into the crowd in an effort to control them, our correspondent adds.

More than 200,000 of Singh’s followers had flocked to the city ahead of the verdict.

Thousands of army, police and paramilitary forces were deployed in the city as a preventive measure.

Singh was taken into protective custody by the army following the conviction. He will be transferred to a military base.

The court is expected to sentence him on Monday.

Singh arrived at court in the town of Panchkula from his ashram in the state of Haryana in a convoy of more than 100 vehicles.

Schools and offices in the area were closed, trains were stopped, roads were blocked and three stadiums were set aside as makeshift prisons in case of trouble, officials said.


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