A judge has sentenced a flamboyant and controversial Indian spiritual guru to 10 years in prison on charges of raping two female followers.
The sentence was pronounced Monday amid intense security at a prison in the northern town of Rohtak, where the guru, who calls himself Dr. Saint Gurmeet Singh Ram Rahim Insan, has been in a prison since his conviction Friday.
The conviction sparked violent protests by his followers that left at least 38 people dead.
A curfew was imposed in Rohtak and in Sirsa town, where the guru’s Dera Sacha Sauda sect has a sprawling ashram. Both towns are in Haryana state.
Thousands of police, paramilitary and army soldiers were deployed in both towns to prevent a repeat of Friday’s violence.
A curfew is in place in a north Indian town where a spiritual guru who was convicted of rape last week is scheduled to be sentenced Monday.
A judge will travel to the prison in Rohtak town where the bling-loving guru, who calls himself Dr. Saint Gurmeet Singh Ram Rahim Ji Insan, has been held since being convicted Friday. The conviction had sparked violent protests by his followers that left at least 38 people dead.
Trains and buses leading to Rohtak have been cancelled to prevent his supporters from gathering there. Local police said several layers of security were in place around the prison and government troops had permission to use firearms if violence erupted.
The guru faces seven years to life in prison.