After 7 Paroles In 10 Months, Rape Convict Ram Rahim Seeks Yet Another

Rape convict Gurmeet Ram Rahim has filed another petition in the Punjab and Haryana High Court for a 21-day parole. The Dera Sacha Sauda chief was granted a 50-day parole in January – for a seventh time in just 10 months.

Ram Rahim in his petition said he needed the parole to participate in a programme hosted by the Dera Sacha Sauda.

After admitting his petition, the high court issued notice to the Haryana government and the Sikh Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC), and sought a reply by July 2.

The high court on January 29 had raised questions over repeated paroles granted to the rape convict who is supposed to be serving 20 years in jail.

After that, the high court had ordered the Haryana government to take its permission if he approaches for parole again.

Responding to a petition by the SGPC, the court had also ordered the state government to give information on how many people have been given parole in this manner.

Sources have said there had been a pattern behind granting paroles to the rape convict, and it usually happened during state or local body polls.

Dera followers, and particularly those of Ram Rahim Singh, are influential in Punjab’s Malwa region, with their votes seen as key in deciding parliamentary and legislative elections. The Malwa region has 69 constituencies – over half of the Punjab assembly’s 117 seats.

Dera followers – who number in the crores and have been relatively subdued since Rahim Singh was jailed – are widely seen as voting per diktats from sect leaders.

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