Apart from being known as a spiritual leader and philanthropist, Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh is also known for acting in five Hindi movies and is the pioneer of the MSG: Messenger of God series of films. Its main centre is situated in Sirsa, Haryana, northern India. DSS presently has more than 6 crore (60 million) followers worldwide.
Around 150 vehicles were torched in Panchkula town by thousands of followers of the self-proclaimed "godman" Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh.
Tens of thousands of his followers had camped out overnight in Panchkula awaiting the verdict, and m obs set fire to government buildings and attacked police and TV journalists, smashing media vans and breaking broadcast equipment. The situation was worsening in parts of Punjab, mainly in Malwa region, the stronghold of Dera.
Police have used tear gas to handle the growing mobs in Panchkula. The army is on standby at the request of Haryana Chief Minister ML Khattar. Rohtak was the centre of widespread Jat quota violence in February 2016. Additionally, curfew has also been imposed in various places, including Patiala, Sirsa, Ferozpur, Muktsar, Bathinda and Mansa according to reports.
Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh was chargesheeted for only in 2007.
Earlier, authorities suspended mobile internet in Haryana and Punjab. The border between the two states has been sealed.
Heavy security is deployed across Punjab and Haryana, New Delhi along with several cities across the two states remain on high alert as lakhs of Dera followers have gathered in towns across the states with Panchkula, Sirsa, Bhatinda emerging as major flash points.
Following the conviction of Singh in a 2002 rape case, his alleged supporters attacked the police and media persons in the vicinity.