A special CBI court sentenced Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh to 20 years in prison after his conviction in two rape cases.
“Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh sentenced to 20 years (10-10 in both cases). Both sentences to run consecutively,” said CBI Spokesperson Abhishek Dayal
CBI Judge Jagdeep Singh pronounced two sentences of 10 years rigorous imprisonment in each of the two cases that date back to 2002, said defence lawyer S K Garg Narwana.
Singh also fined him Rs 15 lakh in each of the two cases, of which Rs 14 lakh each would go to the two victims who were part of his sect and were coerced into having sex with him.
The defence counsel sought leniency from the court arguing that Ram Rahim was active in social work and had health issues. He said he will appeal against the orders in a high court.
The sentence was passed in a special courtroom set up inside the Sunaria jail where Ram Rahim, the 50-year-old self-proclaimed godman, is lodged since last Friday after he was convicted. Reports said he broke down and begged for forgiveness with folded hands when the first sentence was passed.
The judge was brought to Rohtak by a helicopter from Chandigarh and landed at a helipad near the jail located on the outskirts of Rohtak.
Authorities are on high alert in Punjab and Haryana, as Gurmeet Ram Rahim’s followers went on the rampage that left 38 dead after his conviction of Friday.
Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar summoned an emergency meeting today of top officials of the state and reviews law and order situation.
“Law and order situation will not be allowed to be disturbed. Appeal to Dera supporters and people to maintain peace,” Haryana CM ML Khattar said.
Schools and colleges shut, suspended mobile services, stepped up security and threw a five-tier cordon around a Rohtak jail, where a judge handed out punishment to the Dera chief for raping two disciples 15 years ago.
At least 38 people were killed and hundreds injured on Friday in Haryana and Punjab, which had seen widespread violence by his followers after his conviction on Friday. Most of the dead were shot by police who had opened fire to quell the protests