Four die in northern India after violent protests erupted

Four die in northern India after violent protests erupted

PANCHKULA: Four people were killed in northern India Friday when violent protests erupted over a court's decision to convict a controversial Indian guru for raping two devotees, police said.

"There are four fatalities and some injuries. We are trying to bring the situation under control," said a senior police officer who asked not to be named.

An Indian court found self-styled spiritual leader Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh guilty of raping a woman follower.

The woman, a former follower, had accused Singh of repeatedly raping her inside the campus of Dera Sacha Sauda, Singh's organisation, in Haryana in 1999.

The Haryana government had earlier imposed a curfew in the town of Sirsa and ordered thousands of followers to home as he headed to court on Friday for a decision in a rape trial that had raised fears of mass unrest.

Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, the head of a social welfare and spiritual group, commands a following that he claims in the millions, many of whom have been in the streets since Thursday, protesting his innocence.