A well-known Indian guru was sentenced to 10 years in jail Monday for raping two of his followers, a decision which sparked violent protests among his followers according to news reports.

Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, the leader of the Dera Sacha Sauda sect, was convicted Friday of raping two of his followers at his ashram in 2002. His lawyers said the sentencing entailed consecutive, not concurrent terms, reported BBC. He planned to appeal the conviction.

ram rahim singh
The outside 'Dera Sacha Sauda' ashram in Sirsa photographed on August 27, 2017. The outside is decorated with photos of Dera's controversial leader, Ram Rahim Singh. Singh was sentenced to ten years in jail Monday for raping two of his followers. MONEY SHARMA/AFP/Getty Images

Police put the city of Panchkula on lockdown after Singh was convicted at a court there, according to the Associated Press. About 10,000 of Singh's followers went to the town of Sirsa, where Dera's headquarters is located. The violent protests left at least 30 people dead, more than 100 injured and over 500 arrested, according to Al Jazeera.

“We were not expecting the conviction. The fight has just begun,” one of Singh’s followers, identified as Rajesh, said to the Press Trust of India.

Singh, 50, was accused of rape after a three-page anonymous letter was written to local authorities in 2002 by a Dera follower, reported the Hindustan Times. India’s Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) examined the letter and opened up an investigation, questioning 18 of Singh’s followers. During questioning, Singh was accused of two rapes. He was charged with rape and criminal intimidation and his trial began September 2008.

“We believe there are at least 48 more victims who were sexually abused and who may have been killed or are too scared to come out and testify against Ram Rahim,” Utsav Singh Bains, a lawyer for the victims, said to AFP.

Singh has been under investigation for two homicides, one of his followers and another of a journalist who investigated Dera’s activities. He obtained nicknames such as the “guru of bling” and the “rockstar baba” because of his flashy nature and media presence. His Dera Sacha Sauda sect supposedly has 60 million members worldwide. He took control of the sect, founded in 1948, which describes its goals to “encourage spiritual awakening among the masses, to uplift humanity, and to create a better world.”

“Dera has undertaken 133 social welfare activities like helping in road accidents and working for the protection of daughters from heinous fetal murder and solemnizing the marriages of harlots by inspiring them to quit this abhorrent profession,” reads Dera’s website, describing Singh’s leadership.

Singh took over the sect in 1990 and has enjoyed high-profile fame. His Twitter bio reads, “Spiritual Saint/Philanthropist/Versatile Singer/Allrounder Sportsperson/Film Director/Actor/Art Director/Music Director/Writer/Lyricist/Autobiographer/DOP.”

The protests did not spread across India, perhaps because authorities were instructed to shoot protesters on sight, according to Reuters. When protests barely reached New Delhi, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed them.

“Violence is not acceptable in the nation, in any form,” he said. “Those who take the law into their hands or take to violence will not be spared, whoever they are.”