PANCHKULA, India (Reuters) — Violent protests erupted in India’s Haryana state on Friday, killing at least 29 people, after a court convicted a self-styled “godman” of raping two women, angering thousands of his supporters who said he was innocent, the state chief minister said.
Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, the head of a social welfare and spiritual group, was found guilty of raping two followers in a case dating back to 2002 at the headquarters of his Dera Sacha Sauda group in the northern town of Sirsa.
Supporters rampaged in response, attacking railway stations, petrol stations and television vans in towns across the northern states of Punjab and Haryana, witnesses said.
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