Ram Rahim rape case verdict: Widespread violence was witnessed in Punjab and Haryana.
Most of the 38 people who died in Friday's violence in Panchkula are followers of Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singhthe the Haryana police said today. Seventeen of the men, a senior officer said, have been identified. Eight of them were Dera followers from Punjab, Chief Minister Amarinder Singh said today.
By Sunday morning, 17 of the bodies, which were at a local hospital, were claimed. "Mostly all those dead are Dera premis
. Seventeen of the dead have been identified. They are Dera premis
from Punjab and Haryana," an officer told NDTV.
The followers of Ram Rahim, who call themselves Premis
, went on a spree of arson and violence on Friday after the 50-year-old self-styled spiritual leader was convicted for raping two women followers in 2002.
Minutes after the verdict came from a court in Panchkula, the nearly 1.5 lakh people, who had been pouring into Panchkula for days, erupted in violence - setting fire to vehicles, clashing with the security personnel and attacking the media.
By the end of the day, 36 people were dead - shocking pictures from the city showed many of the bodies lying in pools of blood in residential areas. Around 250 people were injured.
As the army was called into Panchkula and Sirsa, where the headquarters of Ram Rahim's Dera Sacha Sauda is located, the violence spread to neighbouring Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and reached the borders of Delhi.
Over the last 24 hours, nearly 150 units of the Dera -- referred to as Naam Charcha Ghars - were raided and sanitized. Hundreds of sticks and material to make petrol bombs were recovered from many of them. In Panchkula, among the vehicles impounded from the convoy of Ram Rahim, a fire engine bearing the name of Dera Saccha Sauda was found to bear 1,200 liters of an inflammable substance.
Ram Rahim will be sentenced on Monday at a court in Rohtak where he has been lodged. The administration said the judge will be flown into the court for the proceedings. The city has been placed under multiple layers of security.