Journalists attacked by Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh’s supporters after court verdict
Enraged followers of Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh attacked media vehicles and journalists on Friday after CBI special court in Panchkula held the self-styled godman guilty of raping and sexually exploiting two female disciples.
Outdoor broadcasting vans of 3-4 television news channels were attacked by the supporters outside the court complex in Panchkula, adjoining Chandigarh. Some OB vans were set on fire.
A total of 15 incidents of violence were reported within 45 minutes in Punjab and Haryana after the court verdict became known.
A few journalists were injured in the attack, witnesses said. Cameras of photojournalists and TV cameramen were damaged by the sect followers.
Most attacks took place in Sectors 3, 4 and 5, which are all close to the court complex.
Police and paramilitary forces could not react adequately as the mobs indulged in violence. But tear gas shells were fired at one place, leading to stone throwing by Ram Rahim Singh’s supporters.
Soldiers deployed in Panchkula moved in quickly and took control of the court complex, where the sect chief was taken into custody by security personnel following his conviction.