India should focus on its internal problems rather than provoking neighbors: Chinese netizens

India should focus on its internal problems rather than provoking neighbors: Chinese netizens
Many Chinese netizens said India should focus on solving its domestic issues rather than provoking a neighboring country, referring to a deadly rampage following the verdict against sect leader Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh.

A special CBI court on Monday sentenced Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh to 20 years of rigorous imprisonment. 

The dera chief was convicted of rape on August 25.

Singh's Dera Sacha Sauda has a vast rural following in Punjab and Haryana states, where frenzied mobs burned down gas stations and train stations and torched vehicles after a local court found him guilty of raping two women in a 2002 case, Reuters reported on Sunday.

News on Singh has triggered heated discussions on Chinese social media after many news sites, released translated news about Singh and the clashes. 

Some Chinese netizens were surprised by the riot, offering condolences to victims and saying India should concentrate on cleaning its domestic problems rather than provoking China.

"It's understandable for some Chinese netizens to express patriotism in the face of the military standoff in Doklam. But netizens should avoid wrong impressions of India and be more objective," Zhang Li, a professor at the Institute of South Asian Studies of Sichuan University, told the Global Times. 

Zhang said religious beliefs influence Indian culture, which is quite different from Chinese culture.

"Dera Sacha Sauda, which has many branches and affiliated organizations, wields great influence in India. This is why sentencing Singh has angered his supporters who sparked a riot to pressure the government," said Hu Zhiyong, a research fellow at the Institute of International Relations of the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences. 

"No one has the right to take the law into one's own hands in the name of one's beliefs," Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in the 35th edition of his monthly radio address, Mann ki Baat, on Sunday, the Indian Express reported.

Singh was born to Sikh parents in the western Indian state of Rajasthan.

In 1990, he was anointed head of Dera Sacha Sauda. 

Some netizens said Singh is the Indian version of Wang Lin, a self-proclaimed qigong master from Jiangxi Province.

Wang, who was facing several criminal charges, died at a hospital in Jiangxi in February. He gained public attention in 2013 when images of him posing for pictures with celebrities, including the billionaire founder and ex-CEO of the Alibaba Group Ma Yun (Jack Ma) and stories of his supposed "supernatural powers," like conjuring snakes from thin air, were posted on the Internet.