Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh who is serving a jail term after being convicted in rape and murder cases reached Dera Sacha Sauda Ashram in Barnawa of Uttar Pradesh.
Rahim was on Saturday released from Sunaria jail on 40-day parole. He reached Baghpat under a security cover. The Dera chief’s family had submitted an application to the jail authorities seeking month-long parole for him.
Rahim was granted parole for a month on June 17. Singh has been incarcerated, since 2017, in Haryana’s Sunaria jail where he is serving a 20-year-term for raping two women disciples at his ashram’s headquarters in Sirsa.
Earlier in February, the Dera chief was granted three weeks’ furlough. While parole means the release of a prisoner either temporarily for a special purpose or completely before the expiry of a sentence, on the promise of good behaviour, a furlough is a short-term temporary release of convicts from jail. He was convicted by a special CBI court in Panchkula in August 2017 for raping two women followers.
While, on October 8, 2021, the court convicted Rahim and four others in connection with former Dera manager Ranjit Singh’s murder case. Ranjit Singh was murdered in 2002 on the premises of Dera Sacha Sauda.
CBI had registered the case on the orders passed by the High Court of Punjab and Haryana in the year 2003 and taken over the investigation of the case earlier registered at Police Station Sadar in Kurukshetra.
It was alleged that Ranjit Singh resident of Village Khanpur Kolian, Kurukshetra was murdered on July 10, 2002, when he was working in his fields at village Khanpur Kolian of District Kurukshetra in Haryana.
After a thorough investigation, CBI filed a charge sheet in the year 2007 against six accused and charges were framed in the year 2008. During the pendency of the trial, one accused expired on October 10, 2020, and trial proceedings were abated against him. The court had held the said accused guilty and convicted them on October 8, 2021.
On July 5, Punjab and Haryana High Court dismissed the writ petition that was filed by some people alleging the replacement of Ram Rahim with a dummy person. Justice Karamjit Singh of the HC passed these orders while dismissing a plea and said that the plea lacked merit.
The plea was filed by Ashok Kumar and 18 other petitioners claiming themselves to be staunch supporters of the controversial preacher.
The petitioners, in this case, said they had sought directions to “verify the authenticity” of the Dera chief as the state authorities in collusion with Dera functionaries including Priyanka Taneja alias Honeypreet and Prithviraj Nain have replaced a dummy person with the Dera chief.