Haryana govt supports Gurmeet Ram Rahim's parole application ignoring high court warning
Barely a month ago in May, the Punjab and Haryana High Court rejected the parole application filed by rape convict godman Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh. Now, the Haryana government is leaving no stone unturned to grant his parole to let him attend his foster daughter's wedding.
The court had observed that releasing Ram Rahim could lead to a law and order problem like the infamous incident of 2017.
Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim has been sentenced to 20 years of rigorous imprisonment in two cases of raping minors.
Haryana Jail Minister KL Panwar said, "Every convict has the right to seek parole after a year. He made a request which we forwarded to the Sirsa district administration. Further action will be taken based on the report. Do not link this with elections. If we had such an intention we would have released him before Lok Sabha elections. The government has no such intention."
Two other Haryana cabinet ministers Krishna Pawar and Anil Vij also backed the parole request saying Ram Rahim's behaviour in jail has been good and he is entitled to parole like any other prisoner.
"I am of the view after considering the serious allegations against Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh that the law and order problem which is likely to be created in case he is released on parole and difficulty of the state in re-arresting him, there is no ground to grant him parole," Justice Kuldeep Singh of the Punjab and Haryana High Court observed in May this year when Ram Rahim's daughter moved an application before the high court.
Ignoring the high court observation could now cost dearly to the administration as Gurmeet Ram Rahim has openly misused his follower base against the administration in the past when his supporters went berserk in Panchkula in August 2017, blocked roads and damaged properties, clashed with police, resulting in over 30 deaths.
While a prisoner is granted parole after completing two years in prison, Gurmeet Ram Rahim has moved his parole application much in advance.
Haryana is headed for assembly elections in four months and the supporters' base of Gurmeet Ram Rahim is immense across Haryana and neighbouring states. His support for the ruling BJP was a key factor of Manohar Lal Khattar coming to power in the last election.