- Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh was sentenced to 20 years in jail today
- He was found guilty of raping two of his own women followers
- CBI argued he deserves a tougher punishment for the crime
The moment the sentence was announced, he broke down, fell to the floor and cried.
"Main begunah hoon (I am innocent)," he wailed before being led out of court by commandos.
Known for his weakness for rhinestone, sequins and bling, the baba - prisoner number 1997 - was taken for a medical examination after which he would be given standard issue prison wear.
On Friday, 50-year-old Ram Rahim's conviction triggered deadly violence by mobs of Dera supporters in Panchkula - where the court announced its decision - Sirsa, the main base of the sect, and other towns in Haryana and neighbouring Punjab. The police say 38 people were killed in the violence.
Ram Rahim, known to inspire extraordinary devotion among tens of thousands, has been convicted of raping Sadhvis or two women disciples in his room in the sprawling 1000-acre Dera campus in Sirsa, called the "gufa (cave)". He was also found guilty of intimidating them. The CBI started investigating the case after an anonymous letter by one of the women to the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and others detailed her experience. A journalist who investigated the letter was killed.