Conviction of Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh in 2017 and 2019:
A petition has been filed before the Punjab and Haryana high court by a doctor from Dera Sacha Sauda, Sirsa. The petition claims that Dera Sacha Sauda (DSS) chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh has threat to his life inside Rohtak’s Sunaria jail. He was convicted in a case of rape and murder of Journalist Ram Chander Chatrapati. He has been awarded the punishment of 20 years in August, 2017.
On 25 August, 2017 a special court of the Central Bureau of Investigation [CBI] at Panchkula convicted him for rape of multiple female disciples, called sadhvis and sentenced a 20 years’ imprisonment. Furthermore, on January 17, 2019 the CBI court again convicted him for a 2002 murder case of a Sirsa based journalist, Mr. Ram Chander Chhatarpati. Apart from these two convictions, he is said to be facing two more trials relating to the murder of the former dera manager Mr. Ranjit Singh and the forced castration of one of his followers inside the Dera premises.
Denying basic facilities, says petition by doctor-worker at DSS
The petitioner in this case, Dr. Mohit Gupta is an employee at the hospital at the DSS in Sirsa. He is claiming that Gurmeet is seeking directions to be produced before the High Court in the said matter. It is alleged via the contents of the petition, that the chief is being denied calling facility, while the same has been made available to other inmates of the jail in which he is lodged. Furthermore, he is even denied the right to meet anyone through jail mulakhat, which is a mandated right as per the rules.
Apart from that, it is also alleged that chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh is being subjected to physical as well as mental torture inside the Sunaria Jail. It is said that Sunaria Jail is the safest is the state of Haryana. Moreover, the petition also mentions that the prison is home to a large number of dangerous criminals and gangsters, who might prove as a threat to the safety of Gurmeet inside the jail premises. While the employee-doctor of the DSS is the petitioner in this case, the petition has impleaded additional chief secretary for home, DGP (prisons) and superintendent of Sunaria jail as respondents in the said matter.
The petition seeks directions from the concerned high court to produce the chief Gurmeet from before the high court to arrange an immediate legal meeting of the petitioner and his lawyer with the convict regarding the allegations set out in the petition. Dr. Mohit, the petitioner in the instant case has been a follower of the Dera Sacha Sauda and its chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh since his birth. He is an old employee of in the hospital of DSS and has been very close to the dera head since a long time.
Safety Measures for Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh in Sunaria Jail
Earlier when he was convicted for the first time in 2017, it had surfaced the news that the DSS chief is being kept with utmost care. Him being a prisoner with high threat perception, is being taken care of to the extent that the food being served to him is tasted and the entire process is videographed. A report by The Times of India, suggested that samples taken from each food item are preserved for 48 hours after being served to him.
“We have to be very careful about his security because of the threat perception to the life of the DSS chief, even inside the jail premises. We have already received the inputs of the Intelligence agencies in this regard,” an official of Haryana Prisons Department told The Indian Express in September, 2017.
Apart from measures taken to serve him safe food, the police authorities also revealed that he is being kept in barrack with multiple levels of security guards. Moreover, the jail authorities constantly change his place so that his location cannot be pinpointed by other inmates, given the threat to his security. They also revealed that there are threats to him from sources other than the inmates, from external sources.
Haryana Director General (Prisons) KP Singh noted that there is extra facilities in place for his safety. He said that in addition to the regular jail superintendent, we have allotted one additional jail superintendent in the jail only to look after his security arrangements. He also noted that there are frequent surprise checks conducted by the jail officers and judicial officers to ensure everything is at place and there is no probable risk to the Dera chief.