Indian guru jailed 10 years for raping devotees

ROHTAK, INDIA: An Indian court yesterday sentenced a controversial spiritual leader to 10 years in prison for raping two of his devotees, days after his followers went on a rampage that left 38 dead.

Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, 50, had been convicted on Friday of raping the two women at the sprawling headquarters of his hugely popular Dera Sacha Sauda sect in the northern state of Haryana, in a case dating back more than 15 years.

"Ram Rahim has been sentenced to 10 years in jail," lawyer Utsav Singh Bains told AFP after the sentence was pronounced at a makeshift court at Rohtak in Haryana.

Mr Bains, representing the victims, said he would seek a longer sentence and asked India's federal police to investigate dozens more alleged cases of abuse.

"We will file two appeals shortly. One for enhancement of the punishment and another for further investigation into the case," Mr Bains told AFP by phone.

"We believe there are at least 48 more victims who were sexually abused and who may have been killed or are too scared to come out and testify against Ram Rahim."- AFP

COURT & CRIMEcourtIndia