Army deployed in northern city of Panchkula, where tens of thousands of guru’s followers have descended to show their support

A court in the north Indian city of Panchkula has convicted a flamboyant Indian spiritual leader of raping two of his female followers, sparking clashes between police and tens of thousands of his followers.

The Indian army was deployed in the city shortly after the court pronounced Ram Rahim Singh guilty of sexual assault. The self-styled “godman” has been taken into custody and will reportedly be flown by helicopter to a jail in Haryana state before sentencing on Monday.

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