Indian 'godman' Ram Rahim weeps in court, begs for clemency

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Now, the son of a journalist, who was allegedly murdered 15 years back for trying to expose the exploitation of female disciples by Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, has reacted to the 20-year sentencing of Dera chief. He has more than 50 million followers worldwide.

In a weird accusation, a man has claimed that the guru forced him to get castrated to be "able to meet God".

- Post-mortem of the bodies of deceased is underway; 90 people were admitted last night, no case of bullet injury has been found, says CMO, Civil Hospital, Panchkula. Since Saturday, police have been asking followers to leave the ashram compound, and around 20,000 people left.

"All the trains on Delhi-Jammu, Delhi-Amritsar, Delhi-Chandigarh, Moradabad-Saharanpur-Ambala sections have been resumed with immediate effect", said Northern Railway spokesman Neeraj Sharma.

A lawyer for the victims had said Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh had been sentenced to 10 years in jail, but India´s Central Bureau of Investigations (CBI) later clarified he received two consecutive 10-year sentences.

The Dera chief also pleaded for a lighter sentence, saying "mujhe maaf kardo" (please forgive me). The prosecution, reportedly, had demanded the maximum punishment for the rape convict. Ram Rahim has to spend 2o years in jail 10 years for each case.

It might be mentioned here that to delay the trials against him, Ram Rahim had filed a total of over 60 petitions in the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

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There was drama inside the special court room as Ram Rahim, who was wearing a white kurta pajama and tied a white cloth on his head, stood in front of the judge with folded hands and requested him for mercy. Following this, a second medical checkup was done.

8000 paramilitary police have been sequestered for Punjab's streets after over a 130 deras (campuses) in Punjab and Haryana were raided by security forces, who recovered petrol bombs and AK-47 rifles in them.

The prison has been transformed into a fortress, with journalists banned from approaching closer than a mile, and roads lined with barbed-wire barricades.

Schools and colleges will remain closed.

There is concern that some of the thousands of the the guru's supporters gathered in the Dera headquarters in Sirsa are heavily armed.

Amid the heavy violence and loss of life and property, the Haryana government and chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar came under criticism for excessive police firing and over the lack of adequate action to clear Panchkula of Dera followers.

The chief minister was talking to reporters after meeting Punjab Governor V P Singh Badnore to apprise him of the law and order situation and the steps taken by his government to prevent any breakdown of law and order in the wake of the conviction of the Dera Sacha Sauda chief. "Will not let any untoward incident happen", he said.

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