There were mixed reactions from the followers of Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, who were leaving the sect headquarters on Tuesday after a court awarded a 20-year jail term to the self-styled godman in two sexual exploitation cases.
Fateh Singh (51), who had been working in the Dera headquarters for three years, said that he had "lost faith" in "guru ji" after the verdict.
Singh, a Dera follower who left the sect headquarters on Tuesday, alleged, "the staff at Dera headquarters were not allowing me to leave, but somehow I left it. Today, I am going to my native place in Punjab."
However, another follower Kulbeer Singh said that "Dera followers were sentimentally attached with guru ji (Ram Rahim Singh). I have full faith in him. "
70-year-old Almat, who left the headquarters on Tuesday, said the allegations against the Dera chief had left him shocked. Almat had been staying at the sect headquarters for 17 years.
A large number of followers, who had come to Dera headquarters before the conviction of Ram Rahim to show solidarity with him, have now left the place.
There are only 200 followers, most of them employed at the sect headquarters, according to officials. Authorities said that law and order prevailed in the area.
After the conviction of Ram Rahim Singh by a CBI court in Panchkula on August 25, six Dera followers were killed in Sirsa while 60 were injured in the violence.