In Photos

In photos: Deaths, flames and violence that followed Ram Rahim’s conviction in a rape case

Appeals to supporters of the Dera Sacha Sauda chief to maintain peace fell on deaf ears.

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.

We welcome your comments at letters@scroll.in.
Sponsored Content BY 

Children's Day is not for children alone

It’s also a time for adults to revisit their childhood.

Most adults look at childhood wistfully, as a time when the biggest worry was a scraped knee, every adult was a source of chocolate and every fight lasted only till the next playtime. Since time immemorial, children seem to have nailed the art of being joyful, and adults can learn a thing or two about stress-free living from them. Now it’s that time of the year again when children are celebrated for...simply being children, and let it serve as a timely reminder for adults to board that imaginary time machine and revisit their childhood. If you’re unable to unbuckle yourself from your adult seat, here is some inspiration.

Start small, by doodling at the back page of your to-do diary as a throwback to that ancient school tradition. If you’re more confident, you could even start your own comic strip featuring people in your lives. You can caricaturise them or attribute them animal personalities for the sake of humour. Stuck in a boring meeting? Draw your boss with mouse ears or your coffee with radioactive powers. Just make sure you give your colleagues aliases.

Pull a prank, those not resulting in revenue losses of course. Prank calls, creeping up behind someone…pull them out from your memory and watch as everyone has a good laugh. Dress up a little quirky for work. It’s time you tried those colourful ties, or tastefully mismatched socks. Dress as your favourite cartoon characters someday – it’s as easy as choosing a ponytail-style, drawing a scar on your forehead or converting a bath towel into a cape. Even dinner can be full of childish fun. No, you don’t have to eat spinach if you don’t like it. Use the available cutlery and bust out your favourite tunes. Spoons and forks are good enough for any beat and for the rest, count on your voice to belt out any pitch. Better yet, stream the classic cartoons of your childhood instead of binge watching drama or news; they seem even funnier as an adult. If you prefer reading before bedtime, do a reread of your favourite childhood book(s). You’ll be surprised by their timeless wisdom.

A regular day has scope for childhood indulgences in every nook and cranny. While walking down a lane, challenge your friend to a non-stop game of hopscotch till the end of the tiled footpath. If you’re of a petite frame, insist on a ride in the trolley as you about picking items in the supermarket. Challenge your fellow gym goers and trainers to a hula hoop routine, and beat ‘em to it!

Children have an incredible ability to be completely immersed in the moment during play, and acting like one benefits adults too. Just count the moments of precious laughter you will have added to your day in the process. So, take time to indulge yourself and celebrate life with child-like abandon, as the video below shows.

Play

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of SBI Life and not by the Scroll editorial team.