The BJP government in Haryana has granted 21 days furlough to Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, who is serving a sentence for raping two women.
This marks the sixth time that the rape convict has received special permission for release from prison in last one year since he was jailed in 2017.
A prisoner is granted parole based on an urgent demand or need, a furlough can be given without any reason after serving a stipulated amount of time in prison.
During this time, the tainted ‘Guru' will be staying in at an ashram in Uttar Pradesh's Baghpat.
Timing of granting furlough to Ram Rahim
At a time when assembly elections are taking place in neighbouring Rajasthan, the timing of furlough to Gurmeet Ram Rahim becomes significant. Ram Rahim, who belongs to Sri Gurusar Mordia village in Sri Ganganagar has a dedicated following in Sri Ganaganagar, Hanumangarh and Churu districts.
There are many centres of Dera Sacha Sauda in these districts who can vote enmass at the signal of Ram Rahim.
Manohar Lal Khattar, had been questioned many a times for grating parole to Gurmeet Ram Rahim during electoral activities in Punjab and Haryana. He had defended his decision by saying that “getting parole after following all procedures was the Dera Dacha Sauda chief's right.
Sixth time lucky
Singh has been granted temporary release from jail three times this year and six times in the last 21 months. In July this year he was given a 30-day parole and stayed at the Dera's ashram in Barwana in Uttar Pradesh's Baghpat district.
He was granted a 40-day parole in January this year and October last year. Prior to that, Singh was released on month long parole ahead of the Sangrur bye-election in Punjab in June 2022. In February last year, he was granted 21 days furlough ahead of the Punjab Assembly elections. On one occasion, he was temporarily released on medical grounds as well.