India's "Guru of Bling" gets 20-year jail sentence for rape

India guru rape: Followers start to leave Ram Rahim's HQ

Thousands of his supporters are believed to be inside the compound although many left following a tense stand-off with soldiers.

Hundreds of soldiers and riot police had blocked approaches to the premises spread over 1,000 acres (404 hectares) and were urging those holed up inside to surrender peacefully.

The special CBI court at the Panchkula district court on Friday had convicted Ram Rahim on charges of rape under Sections 376 and 506 of the IPC and later transported by a plush helicopter (for security reasons) to Sunaria Jail.

Police said at least 36 people were killed as tens of thousands of followers took to the streets, attacking television vans and setting fire to dozens of vehicles.

Modi said Sunday it was "natural to be worried" as the violence even briefly reached the capital New Delhi.

In a weekly radio address on Sunday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, "Violence will not be tolerated in any form", and that "those who have taken the law in their hands or taken to violence will not be spared, whoever they are".

The rapist guru will be given a prison uniform and will be allotted a jail cell.

BRIBERY SCANDAL: Jailed Samsung heir appeals 5-yr sentence
Monday's announcement seemed created to send a sign that the company will continue to conduct business as usual despite Mr. He has been detained in the same facility where he was held under custody since February while undergoing trial.

Now, the ban has been extended till Tuesday to prevent any disturbance of peace and public order in view of the quantum of punishment to be pronounced against the Dera chief in Rohtak tomorrow, officials said.

It was this letter that resulted in the Punjab and Haryana High Court asking India's federal police, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), to conduct an investigation, which eventually led to Singh's conviction and sentencing. He faces a maximum sentence of life in jail.

A multi-layer security cordon manned by police and 23 companies of paramilitary forces was thrown in and around Rohtak and also around the jail. "Will not let any untoward incident happen".

An estimated 200,000 members of Singh's Dera Sacha Sauda movement had gathered in the city of Panchkula in a show of support a day before his guilty verdict.

The guilty verdict, and police response to the rioting that followed, enraged many of Singh's supporters. "Authorities issued a "shoot at sight" order at innocent devotees, which is totally wrong".

Known as the "guru of bling" because of his love for outlandish outfits and jewellery, Singh became the "rockstar baba", acting in films, performing rock concerts, rubbing shoulders with the high and mighty in India. In his movies "MSG: The Messenger of God" and "MSG2", Singh wears dazzling costumes, rides motorcycle, and is seen sending villains flying.

His last flick "MSG - The Warrior Lion Heart" was released past year, with the guru playing a secret agent fighting aliens and UFOs. He was charged with conspiracy involving the murder of an investigative journalist in 2002 and several female followers claim he sexually assaulted them but he has never been convicted.

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