At least 32 people were killed Friday in rioting that gripped the northern Indian town of Pachkula after a quasi-religious sect leader was convicted on rape charges. Saint Dr. Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh Ji Insaan, a guru leading a sect that claims to have 50 million followers, protested a court’s guilty verdict against him on Friday, denying the charges that he raped two of his followers. His protest prompted tens of thousands of his followers to take to the streets. They set fire to government buildings, vandalized bus stations and government vehicles, and attacked police and journalists, authorities said. Dozens were killed in the ensuing chaos, and Insaan was flown by helicopter to a jail in a neighboring town because district officials feared his followers would storm the area he was being held. Baldev Raj Mahajan, the Haryana state attorney, said 528 people were arrested in the riots.
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