A special CBI court of Panchkula has pronounced twenty years of imprisonment to self-styled godman Gurmeet Ram Rahim after his conviction in two rape cases.
CBI Judge Jagdeep Singh pronounced two sentences of 10 years rigorous imprisonment in each of the two cases that date back to 2002, said defence lawyer S K Garg Narwana.
He said both sentences will run consecutively for a total of 20 years in jail for the flamboyant guru who has millions of followers and counts politicians as well as celebrities as his friends.
Singh also fined him Rs 15 lakh in each of the two cases, of which Rs 14 lakh each would go to the two victims who were part of his sect and were coerced into having sex with him.
The defence counsel sought leniency from the court arguing that Ram Rahim was active in social work and had health issues. He said he will appeal against the orders in a high court.
The sentence was passed in a special courtroom set up inside the Sunaria jail where Ram Rahim, the 50-year-old self-proclaimed godman, is lodged since last Friday after he was convicted.
Media reports said he broke down and begged for forgiveness with folded hands when the first sentence was passed.
The judge was brought to Rohtak by a helicopter from Chandigarh and landed at a helipad near the jail located on the outskirts of Rohtak.
* Law and order situation will not be allowed to be disturbed. Appeal to Dera supporters and people to maintain peace: Haryana CM ML Khattar
* Total sentence is 20(10-10) yrs,both sentences not consecutive but sentence of 376 & 506 would run concurrently: SK Narwana, Ram Rahim's lawyer
* Curfew to be imposed in Punjab's Barnala from 9 pm today till 9 am tomorrow: Harjeet Singh, SSP Barnala.
* Please be assured that no guilty will be spared during violence probe: AS Dhillon, IG Sirsa.
* There has been no incident of violence today after the sentencing : Haryana Police.
* Working to identify those who were behind instigation of violence: Haryana Police.
* There are still more than 1000 ppl inside the Dera, but numbers have come down significantly: Haryana Police.
* Court has set an example that no one can escape the law: Baba Ramdev on Ram Rahim.
* People did not agree when we said Ram Rahim Singh is involved in objectionable activities. Happy court proved it today: Anshul Chhatrapati.
* CBI lawyer pushed for maximum punishment to Ram Rahim given the seriousness of the crime.
* Ludhiana industrialists seek compensation of Rs 10,000 crores for losses suffered by state's industry due to Dera case.
* Dera to challenge verdict against Gurmeet Ram Rahim in High Court
* Dera chief Ram Rahim breaks down in courtroom,
* This verdict is a tribute to the memory of my father: Anshul Chhatrapati, son of journalist Ram Chander Chhatrapati
* Defence counsel pleading for leniency also cited health grounds, said Ram Rahim’s health is not good
* Army conducts flag march in Haryana's Sirsa after sentencing of Ram Rahim Singh in rape case against him.
* Haryana CM ML Khattar calls an emergency meeting of senior state officials, party leaders and ministers at his residence in Chandigarh.
* Ram Rahim threatened jail authority of getting them suspended: Journalist Sanjiv Mahajan
* This (sentence) must be accepted by the people and peace must prevail, says Punja CM Amarinder Singh
* Medical examination of Ram Rahim Singh is being done, after this he will be given a jail uniform and will be allotted a cell in jail.
* Ram sentenced to 10 years of imprisonment.
* Two vehicles torched in Phoolka area of Haryana's Sirsa.
* Defence argues Ram Rahim Singh is a social worker who has worked for welfare of people, so judge should take a lenient view.
* Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh Insan, the Dera Sacha Sauda chief will be sentenced at a special court near Rohtak, Haryana.
* The quantum of sentence in this case will be read in a court which is being specially set up inside the District Jail premises where Ram Rahim was brought and lodged after his conviction.
* The judge of the special CBI court is Jagdeep Singh had on Friday held Ram Rahim guilty of rape and criminal intimidation of the two female disciples in 2002.The judge had already flown to Rohtak where he will pronounce the sentence against the Dera Chief.
* Movement of people will be allowed within a distance of 10 km from the prison premises.
"We have ensured no Dera follower is allowed to enter the entire Rohtak district or move around jail. Several barricades with strong police and paramilitary presence have been set up, we're ready to deal with any eventuality," Navdeep Singh Virk, IGP Rohtak Range told ANI.
* Shoot at sight orders have been issued against any anti-social elements Rohtak District Collector (DC) Atul Kumar. He was reported by ANI where he said,"We will not allow anyone to create any sort of trouble in Rohtak. Anyone breaking law or indulging in acts of violence or arson will himself be responsible for his fate. Anyone creating trouble will be given a warning first and if he still pays no heed, then he will have to face the bullet,"
* The neighbouring areas have been put on high alert and Section 144 is already in place in Rohtak and Sirsa.
-With PTI inputs.