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Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal today asked people to stay calm and maintain peace as violence, following the conviction of self-styled godman Gurmeet Ram Rahim in a rape case, spread to the city from Haryana and Punjab. At least five people were killed and scores injured, said a doctor in Panchkula, where the verdict of the special CBI court was read out. Violence spread rapidly to many other places in Haryana, Punjab, parts of Rajasthan and the national capital.
“I urge everyone to stay calm and maintain peace,” Kejriwal said on Twitter as reports came in of violence in several parts of Delhi. A bus was torched in northeast Delhi’s Loni Chowk, allegedly by Dera Sacha Sauda supporters, police officials said.
According to the Delhi fire service, reports of arson also came in from various parts of the national capital, including Anand Vihar, Khayala, Jahangirpuri and Badarpur areas. Police, however, said the identity of the arsonists had not been ascertained.
Two empty coaches of the Rewa Express stationed at the Anand Vihar station were also on fire but there was no clarity on how and by whom. Police said small gatherings of Gurmeet’s supporters in several parts of Delhi have been reported. “We are keeping a tab on the situation,” a police official said.
The verdict was pronounced in the rape case over 15 years after an anonymous sexual exploitation complaint was registered against Gurmeet. The quantum of sentence will be announced on August 28