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Haryana Govt Grants 21-Day Furlough to Dera Chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim

The self-styled godman has been convicted in separate cases of rape and murder.

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India
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Edited By :Tejas Harad

The Haryana government on Monday, 7 February, granted 21-day furlough to Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh who has been lodged in Sunaria jail in Rohtak since 2018.

The self-styled godman was sentenced to life imprisonment for nearly two decades-old murder of former sect manager, Ranjit Singh.

Ranjit Singh was shot dead as he was suspected of being involved in the circulation of an anonymous letter that had exposed how women were being sexually exploited by the sect head at the Dera headquarters, as per PTI.

Ram Rahim is already serving a 20-year jail sentence for raping two of his disciples and a life term for the killing of a journalist.
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The government’s move to sanction his parole comes ahead of the Assembly polls in Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, and Uttarakhand where Gurmeet reportedly has a vast influence.

Haryana’s Jail Minister Ranjeet Singh Chautala said that parole is the right of every convict but did not comment further. As per Times of India, the Dera chief has already left the Sunaria jail.

Close Ties With BJP

Ram Rahim’s Dera Sacha Sauda is said to have supported the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its allies in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the Haryana Assembly elections later that year, the 2017 Assembly polls in Punjab, and the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

The Dera enjoys considerable influence in Haryana and Punjab, particularly among a section of Dalits.

Not just the BJP, its ally Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and the Congress have also hobnobbed with Ram Rahim at some point or the other.

But since the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the Dera has consistently been supporting the BJP and SAD.

(With inputs from Times of India and PTI.)

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