Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar denied having any information about the parole granted to Ram Rahim and said, “I was not aware of his release. Getting parole is his right and I will not interfere in the case.”
In October 2022, he was granted 40-day parole that he largely spent in the Barnawa ashram holding several “satsang” sessions, some of which were also attended by BJP functionaries from Haryana, where he continues to have a large following. Following a controversial incident during that period, the basic shiksha adhikari (BSA) in UP’s Shahjahanpur district had ordered a probe after a viral video clip showed more than 300 children in school uniform attending the online “satsang” of the 56-year-old Dera chief.
Prior to this, Ram Rahim had come out of prison on a 30-day parole in June 2022. It came shortly after he was released on 21 days of furlough in February the same year.
Watch: Dera chief Ram Rahim gets parole, releases video for followers
The state government has the right to grant parole to a convict. It generally refers to a prisoner’s temporary release before the end of a sentence in lieu of his good behaviour. Parole lasts for a minimum of one month. Furlough, on the other hand, can last for a maximum of two weeks, but can be extended under special circumstances.
Haryana’s jails minister, Ranjit Singh Chautala, had earlier said that the Dera chief had applied for a 40-day parole which was forwarded to the Rohtak divisional commissioner. As per officials, he had applied for parole to attend the birth anniversary of a former Dera chief, Shah Satnam Singh, and is likely to attend the same on January 25.
After his latest release, Delhi Commission for Women chairperson Swati Maliwal tweeted, “All levels of decency have been crossed, countrymen save their daughters as rapists will walk free.” She further said, “How can the Haryana government be so considerate towards a rapist? It’s a slap on all the Nirbhayas of the country.”
Ram Rahim has been sentenced to 20 years in jail after being convicted in 2017 for raping two of his female disciples in Sirsa. In 2019, he was convicted for the 2002 murder of journalist Ram Chander Chhatrapati. He was also convicted in 2021 for hatching a conspiracy to kill the Dera’s former manager Ranjit Singh.
Rape convict Dera chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim gets another parole