A self-styled spiritual guru and head of the Dera Sacha Sauda sect, Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, has been moved to a prison in Haryana's Rohtak. The rape convict will be lodged in a special cell, will get bottled mineral water and an assistant to stay with him, sources in the Haryana jail said.
Guilty of raping two women followers in 2002, a court in Panchkula has found Ram Rahim, 50. He made a dramatic entry at the court yesterday afternoon, driving 250 kilometres to Panchkula from Sirsa, where his sect is headquartered, in a bulletproof car.
The Dera chief was taken to Rohtak by helicopter, after being convicted and arrested. Video from the court premises showed a woman carrying out several bags and pieces of luggage as he left.
Ram Rahim was taken to a police guest house after he landed in Rohtak,that served as a makeshift jail. He was shifted to a prison only much later in the evening.
Denying the reports of special treatment to the Dera chief, Haryana top cop, according to news agency ANI, said "some channels and papers reporting on special treatment to Ram Rahim. I clarify he is in Sunaria Jail, not in a guesthouse."
The self-styled godman, dressed in white clothes and with his long hair loose, in court yesterday, stood with his hands folded in prayer and his eyes closed when the judge started reading the verdict. He will be sentenced on Monday.
After the judgement was announced, thousands of his followers gathered in Panchkula erupted in violence, attacking and setting on fire vehicles and public property and clashing with the police. There were clashes in Sirsa too. About 250 have been injured and 31 people have died.
There has been violence in other parts of Punjab and Haryana too, as well as incidents or arson in Delhi and Rajasthan.