Special CBI judge Jagdeep Singh reached Rohtak in a helicopter to sentence self-styled godman Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, the chief of Dera Sacha Sauda. After landing at a helipad near the Rohtak jail where Ram Rahim was lodged since Friday night, the judge was escorted to a makeshift court created within the jail. The proceedings began soon afterwards.

Justice Singh has been given special protection by the Haryana government. There are heavy security arrangements in place in Rohtak, especially around the jail.

Ram Rahim was convicted on Friday by the same judge in a rape case that dates back to 2002. Ram Rahim faces a minimum of seven years’ jail, while the maximum penalty is life imprisonment.

More than 2,000 paramilitary soldiers are guarding the prison to avert repeat of what had happened in Panchkula on Friday after Ram Rahim was pronounced guilty. Ram Rahim’s followers went on rampage and 36 people were killed in the conflagration in Panchkula and Sirsa. Hundreds of vehicles were set on fire.

Scores of mediapersons bore the brunt of followers’ fury.