NEW DELHI – A special court sentenced self-styled Indian spiritual guru Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh to 10 years in jail on Monday for raping his two women followers. 

The court of the country’s premier probe agency, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), handed down the sentence to the 50-year-old godman at a jail in the northern Indian state of Haryana’s Rohtak town, where he has been lodged since his conviction in the case on Friday. 

During the arguments, the prosecution sought life sentence for the spiritual guru, but his defense lawyers pleaded for a lighter sentence. Hearing both the sides for nearly half-an-hour, CBI judge Jagdeep Singh pronounced the quantum of punishment. 

Earlier in the day, judge Singh was flown down to the Rohtak jail by a government helicopter to conduct the court proceedings inside the prison which has been turned into a fortress with the Indian para-military troopers guarding it and the army kept on standby. 

Soon after Singh was convicted by the court Friday in the northern city of Panchkula, violence erupted after his supporters clashed with police, which left at least 38 people dead and over 300 injured.