Violent protests erupted in India on Friday (August 25), killing at least 14 people, after a court convicted a self-styled guru of raping two women, angering thousands of his devotees who said he was innocent, police and officials 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.
Devotees rampaged in response, attacking railway stations, petrol stations and television vans in towns across the northern states of Punjab and Haryana, witnesses said.
At least 14 people were killed, most of them in Panchkula town where the court returned its verdict on Singh, a federal interior ministry official said. More than 200 were wounded in the two states, he said.