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13 Dead After Indian Guru’s Rape Conviction Triggers Riots

13 Dead After Indian Guru’s Rape Conviction Triggers Riots13 Dead After Indian Guru’s Rape Conviction Triggers Riots

Mobs rampaged across a north Indian town on Friday, leaving 13 people dead and buildings in flames, after a court declared a quasi-religious sect leader guilty of raping two of his followers, authorities said.

Police used water cannon in an attempt to disperse the crowd in the town of Panchkula, situated in Haryana State, and a spokesman for the guru’s sect urged his supporters to remain calm, AP reported.

The violence so far has left 13 dead, including some with bullet wounds, and more than 100 injured, according to V.K. Bansal, chief medical officer at the state-run Panchkula Civil Hospital.

More than 15,000 paramilitary troops and police officers, some on horseback, were deployed in Panchkula.

Mobs set fire to government buildings, and attacked police and TV journalists, smashing the windshields of media vans and breaking broadcast equipment. Police initially used tear gas and water cannons, and then fired bullets in the air in an attempt to control the surging mobs as they vandalized bus stations and government vehicles.

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