28 dead after Indian court finds 'Guru of Bling' guilty

28 dead after Indian court finds
# 25 August 2017 19:00 (UTC +04:00)

At least 28 people were killed and hundreds others injured in ongoing violence in northern Haryana state following a court’s verdict against a popular Indian spiritual leader, local media outlets quoting officials said, APA reports quoting Anadolu Agency.

Most of the deaths took place in Panchkula city, some 250 kilometers (155 miles) from capital New Delhi, where a special Central Bureau of Investigation court handed down a guilty verdict against Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh in a case involving the rape of the guru’s two female disciples.

The majority of the dead are said to be diehard supporters of Singh.

The army was called out in the city to control the situation after thousands of Singh’s followers turned violent following the court’s announcement of the verdict.

More than 150,000 followers had gathered in Panchkula and Sirsa town, which is the stronghold of the spiritual leader, in anticipation of the court verdict.

Authorities resorted to firing tear gas at the huge crowds in vain efforts to control them. Singh’s sympathizers were also accused of attacking media vans and journalists.

According to local Abp news, which put the death toll at 28 and number of injured as high as 250, the violence had now spread to other towns and states of Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and New Delhi.

Curfew had also been imposed in some towns of Punjab and Haryana. A bus and two train carriages were also set on fire in New Delhi, which remains on high alert.