Gurmeet Ram Rahim, rape convict and self-styled godman, appealed for a parole for farming purposes. He claimed he was being framed and that his conduct during prison time has been exemplary. The application also reads that since he is not serving jail term for a ‘heinous’ crime and his conduct had been exemplary, he should be granted parole. The Sirsa administration is looking into the matter.
Gurmeet Singh is currently serving a 20-year sentence at Rohtak’s Sunaria Jail for raping his two women disciples in the Dera Saccha Sauda. He has been in jail for 23 months. He is also facing murder trials.
The first allegations of rape against Dera Saccha Sauda chief emerged in 2002 when a sadhvi wrote a letter to the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee saying that she among many others were being sexually exploited by the self-styled godman.
On January 17, a special CBI court in Panchkula sentenced Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh to life imprisonment for the murder of journalist Ram Chander Chhatrapati. The other three accused - Kuldeep Singh, Nirmal Singh, and Krishan Lal - have also been awarded life imprisonment. The court has also imposed a fine Rs 50,000 each.
Anshul Chhatrapati, son of journalist Ramchandra, has expressed satisfaction over the court's judgement. “This is the triumph of truth, I feel relieved today. Prosecution had demanded capital punishment but we're satisfied with the punishment,” Anshul said.
Chhatrapati was shot at in October 2002 after his newspaper, 'Poora Sach', published an anonymous letter narrating how women were being sexually exploited by Gurmeet Ram Rahim at the Dera headquarters in Sirsa. The journalist later succumbed to injuries and a case was registered in 2003. The case was handed over to the CBI in 2006. Chhatrapati's family had approached the Punjab and Haryana High Court in 2003, seeking transfer of the case to the CBI. The investigation was later handed over to the CBI which filed a charge sheet in July 2007.
The verdict was pronounced amid massive security arrangments in Panchkula and other parts of Haryana and Punjab to avoid the repeat of the 2017 violence that broke out following the judgment in the rape cases. In August 2017, the false face of the 51-year-old Dera head was exposed after he was found guilty of raping two of his women followers. Following the verdict, massive violence broke out in Panchkula and other parts of the state.
His supporters wreaked havoc and rampaged through the town Panchkula and other parts of Haryana, as well as neighbouring states of Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Punjab. Over 50 people were killed in the violence allegedly planned by his adopted daughter Honeypreet to flee him from the police custody.