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Indian guru sentenced to 20 years in prison

29 August 2017

Rape convict godman Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh Insan has been jailed for twenty years for raping two of his women followers and would serve two sentences of ten years each consecutively.

Ram Rahim Singh has been sentenced to 20 years in jail for 2 rape cases. Earlier, there was confusion over the term of the sentence, with reports that Ram Rahim was sentenced to 10 years in jail.

"We believe there are at least 48 more victims who were sexually abused and who may have been killed or are too scared to come out and testify against Ram Rahim", lawyer Utsav Singh Bains told AFP.

The Dera sect chief has been kept in the approval cell at Sunaria jail in Rohtak.

Rohtak prison turned into a fortress ahead of the hearing. More than three dozen people were reported killed and a couple of hundred were injured after the Friday court hearing. Judge Jagdeep Singh arrived in Rohtak in a helicopter, landing on a helipad near the jail located on the outskirts of Rohtak.

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Inspector General (Hisar range) A S Dhillon yesterday said there has been no report of violence by Dera followers in the district.

The powerful Dera chief was found guilty of rape in a case that came into public domain after an anonymous written complaint in April 2002. The complaint in the cases was filed in 2002.

He said, "Lord Ram is the greatest symbol of Indian culture".

All eyes now are on Hisar where a judicial magistrate, Mukesh Kumar, is likely to deliver a verdict on Tuesday in two criminal cases slapped against another controversial godman, Sant Rampal, who is judicial custody since his arrest from his fortified Satlok Ashram near Barwala in Hisar in 2014.

The CBI submitted a chargesheet on July 30, 2007.

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The special CBI court framed charges against Ram Rahim under sections 376 (rape) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the IPC in September 2008.

The woman's father, who died previous year. had accompanied her when she went to court to record her statement in front of the judge in 2009.

He has also been fined Rs. 15 lakh in each case. August 17, 2017: The prosecution and defence conclude arguments.

During the searches at the sect's properties in Punjab and Haryana, police recovered sticks, rods and material to make petrol bombs.

Local police said several layers of security were in place around the prison and that government troops had permission to use firearms if any violence erupted. A library inside the jail in Rohtak, a town 50 miles north of New Delhi where Singh had been held since his conviction, was hastily converted into a courtroom. Because we have the temerity to ask for Constitutional resolution of the situation and the resignation of those occupying Constitutional posts, the reaction is on the contrary - that they have gained their continuation in power. Narayanan was very cautious "as any small mistake would end up in getting a suspension", he said.

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"We have clarity of thought, we are not confused". He said it reflects "irreparable damages caused by the acts of the convict to the heritage of this ancient land". After Friday's violence, the army was called out in ten districts of Punjab to maintain law and order.

Indian guru sentenced to 20 years in prison