At least five people were killed in violence unleashed by Dera Sacha Sauda Chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh’s followers after he was convicted by a special CBI court in Panchkula in a 15-year old rape case on Friday.
The agitated supporters set on fire many government buildings, including a local telephone exchange. They also attacked many media vehicles.
Police fired in the air and also lobbed tear gas and let loose water cannons on the protesters to quell the violence, which appeared to be spreading in Haryana, Punjab and even Rajasthan.
The duty doctor at the Civil Hospital in Panchkula said at least five people were killed.
“The flow of injured is not stopping,” said a TV channel reporter in his dispatch, which also showed pictures of vehicles burning, and at least one person lying motionless by the roadside. The report said the man was dead.
It said at least 100 people were injured and eight people may have died, but this could not be immediately confirmed.
Immediately after a court convicted the Dera Sacha Sauda chief, many of his followers, including a large number of women, broke police barricades and security cordons.