Followers of convicted Indian guru end impasse with army

0
117

PV International Desk : Thousands of supporters of a controversial Indian guru ended a tense standoff with soldiers Sunday, avoiding renewed violence after their leader’s rape conviction sparked riots in which at least 36 people died.

Followers of Ram Rahim Singh, whose loyalists went on a rampage after he was found guilty Friday, began trickling out one by one under army guard from the compound of their spiritual headquarters in Sirsa, a town in the northern state of Haryana.

Hundreds of soldiers and riot police had blocked approaches to the premises spread over 1,000 acres (404 hectares) and were urging those holed up inside to surrender peacefully.

Indian authorities have been on high alert in Sirsa and Panchkula, the city where Singh faced judgement, since rioting and arson broke out minutes after the self-styled godman was found guilty of raping two of his followers.