Despite deploying hundreds of additional paramilitary forces, having Army personnel on standby and conducting flag marches to warn against violence, security forces were unable to control the chaos that ensued after a self-styled godman was found guilty of rape charges on Friday.

A special Central Bureau of Investigation court in Haryana’s Panchkula convicted Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh in a 15-year-old rape case on Friday. The verdict triggered protests and riots by lakhs of his supporters across the state, as well as in Punjab and New Delhi, leaving at least 30 dead and more than 250 injured.

Take a look at how the violence unfolded in photographs:

Haryana Police in full riot gear prepare to take on Ram Rahim’s supporters before his conviction was announced (Credit: AFP)
Haryana Police in full riot gear prepare to take on Ram Rahim’s supporters before his conviction was announced (Credit: AFP)
Minutes before the violence began, followers of Dera chief Ram Rahim gathered on the streets after his conviction was announced. (Credit: PTI)
Minutes before the violence began, followers of Dera chief Ram Rahim gathered on the streets after his conviction was announced. (Credit: PTI)
Supporters of the Dera chief pelt stones at security personnel in Sirsa, Haryana. (Credit: PTI)
Supporters of the Dera chief pelt stones at security personnel in Sirsa, Haryana. (Credit: PTI)
A car in flames in Panchkula, Haryana (Credit: Ravi Kumar/HT)
A car in flames in Panchkula, Haryana (Credit: Ravi Kumar/HT)
A motorcycle on fire in Panchkula, Haryana, which was at the centre of the violence. (Credit: PTI)
A motorcycle on fire in Panchkula, Haryana, which was at the centre of the violence. (Credit: PTI)
Dera Sacha Sauda followers pelt stones at security forces after Ram Rahim Singh’s conviction. (Credit: Cathal McNaughton/Reuters)
Dera Sacha Sauda followers pelt stones at security forces after Ram Rahim Singh’s conviction. (Credit: Cathal McNaughton/Reuters)
A security personnel walks towards a burning vehicle in Panchkula, Haryana, where the government claimed full arrangements were made to control the violence. (Credit: Cathal McNaughton/Reuters)
A security personnel walks towards a burning vehicle in Panchkula, Haryana, where the government claimed full arrangements were made to control the violence. (Credit: Cathal McNaughton/Reuters)
Several media staff were injured during the protests in Panchkula, where rioters attacked OB vans and set some on fire.  (Credit: Cathal McNaughton/Reuters)
Several media staff were injured during the protests in Panchkula, where rioters attacked OB vans and set some on fire. (Credit: Cathal McNaughton/Reuters)
A photojournalist walks past burning vehilces in Panchkula, which was hit the worst by the riots. (Credit: PTI)
A photojournalist walks past burning vehilces in Panchkula, which was hit the worst by the riots. (Credit: PTI)
A charred fire brigade vehicle in Panchkula (Credit: PTI)
A charred fire brigade vehicle in Panchkula (Credit: PTI)

The violence spread from Haryana to Punjab and New Delhi, where buses and trains were burned, and vehicles were set ablaze. Dera followers resorted to stone pelting and also charged at security forces trying to control the chaos.

Appeals for peace by several leaders, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh and Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, fell on deaf ears.

The skeleton of a Delhi Transport Corporation bus that was set on fire by Ram Rahim’s followers (Credit: PTI)
The skeleton of a Delhi Transport Corporation bus that was set on fire by Ram Rahim’s followers (Credit: PTI)
Dera Sacha Sauda followers vandalised and set on fire several coaches of trains at Delhi's Anand Vihar Station. (Credit: PTI)
Dera Sacha Sauda followers vandalised and set on fire several coaches of trains at Delhi's Anand Vihar Station. (Credit: PTI)
A car is set ablaze at an Income Tax office in Mansa, Punjab. (Credit: PTI)
A car is set ablaze at an Income Tax office in Mansa, Punjab. (Credit: PTI)
The chief minister of Haryana said at least 700 protestors have been detained, and six Army columns have been deployed in the state. (Credit: PTI)
The chief minister of Haryana said at least 700 protestors have been detained, and six Army columns have been deployed in the state. (Credit: PTI)

The case dates back to 2002, when two anonymous letters that claimed Ram Rahim had sexually exploited two female followers began to be circulated. Although he had denied the allegations, the CBI filed a chargesheet against the Dera chief in 2007.

The quantum of sentence will be decided on Monday, August 28. Under Section 376 of the Indian Penal Code, Ram Rahim faces seven years in jail to life imprisonment for the crime.