Chandigarh: The ruling BJP in Haryana seems to be inclined to allow Honeypreet Insan, accused in the Panchkula violence, to meet jailed Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, who was convicted in 2017 for raping two of his disciples and is now seeking parole.
State Home Minister Anil Vij on Tuesday said it is Honeypreet's right to meet her foster father Ram Rahim like any other individual.
Officials told IANS a meeting between Ram Rahim and Honeypreet could create a law and order problem in the state. The police in its report to the jail authorities did not favour the meeting.
However, Vij told the media here after reviewing the Police Department functioning in his first meeting after assuming charge that the government has asked the police to re-examine the issue.
"I have asked top police officials to re-examine and if there is no law and order problem, anyone can meet anyone," he said categorically.
Without mincing words, he added, "If there is positive report, we will allow them to meet very shortly."
- Rapist Indian guru faces up to life in prison
- Self-styled guru convicted of murdering journalist
- Violent protests erupt in India as court convicts guru of rape
- Sikh high priests reject Dera chief's second 'apology'
- Who is Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh?
- Honeypreet arrested, to be produced in court on Wednesday
On being asked about the timeframe of the report completion, he said, "Very shortly, in a day or two."
A day earlier, Vij said "every person has the equal right to meet the convict and the law can't stop anyone from meeting that person".
"The government is taking legal opinion on the application of Honeypreet to meet Ram Rahim and if there is no issue, she can meet him," he has said.
The self-styled godman, who has a huge following in this region, had earlier sought a parole of 42 days for tending to the sprawling fields in his sect's headquarters in Sirsa town, some 250 kms from Chandigarh, but was refused owing to law and order fears.
A court in Panchkula earlier granted bail to Honeypreet in the case of violence after the self-styled godman's sentence.
Her bail came days after the trial court dropped sedition charges against Honeypreet and 35 other accused. She is currently staying in the sect's headquarters.
Ram Rahim was sentenced in August 2017 to 20 years in jail for raping two women.
A special CBI court in Panchkula in January also sentenced him and three others to life imprisonment for the murder of a journalist over 16 years ago.
The 51-year-old is currently lodged in the high-security Sunaria jail in Rohtak.
Ram Rahim was patronised by political leaders and parties of Punjab and Haryana for nearly two decades due to his ability to shift votes of his followers.
Who is Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh?
He used to glide through the air dressed in pink robes in his promotional videos and in real life is known to ride powerful, souped up bikes to congregations, the persona as flashy as the vehicle itself. He is now lodged in the high-security Sunaria jail in Rohtak.
The 50-year-old was known as the “guru in bling” for his penchant for bejewelled costumes, although the source of his apparently vast wealth is unclear.
His Twitter profile described him as “Spiritual Saint/Philanthropist/Versatile Singer/Allrounder Sportsperson/Film Director/Actor/Art Director/Music Director/ Writer/Lyricist/Autobiographer/DOP”.
He was born in Sri Gurusar Modia village in Rajasthan’s Sri Ganganagar district on August 15, 1967, to a landlord father. An only child, Singh helped his father on the farm in his early years.
Singh, it is said, was always spiritual. When he was seven, he was picked out by Shah Satnam Singh, then head of the Dera Sacha Sauda in Sirsa, who anointed him Ram Rahim.
Sixteen years later, in 1990, Satnam Singh invited his disciples from all over the country for a grand satsang where 23-year-old Singh was chosen as his successor.
The Dera chief, who completed his high school, is married to Harjeet Kaur. They have two daughters, Charanpreet and Amanpreet, both of whom are married, and a son Jasmeet. He also adopted a girl.
The story also goes that he loved butter and ghee and took part in several sport activities.
Combining entrepreneurial skills with his job as the spiritual head of the sect, he launched the ‘MSG’ range of “Swadeshi and organic” products about two years ago.
The business is looked after by the Dera chief’s children, who live inside the Dera in Sirsa, about 260km from here.
MSG is perhaps a reference to his first film “Messenger of God”, which he made In 2014 when he underwent an image makeover. Since then, he has made three more films, playing the lead role in each and performing ostentatious, dangerous stunts, quite like any other tinsel town superhero.
Dera functionaries claim their chief has contributed in motivating millions of people to perform selfless services while the sect itself has devoted itself to humanitarian tasks such as blood donation and organ donation drives and educating the poor.
The bejewelled head of the Sirsa headquartered sect held sway over millions in Haryana, Punjab and Rajasthan.
India has been rocked by numerous scandals involving popular ascetics claiming to possess mystical powers, and Singh is no stranger to controversy.
In 2015 he was accused of encouraging 400 followers to undergo castration at his ashram so they could get closer to god.
He also stood trial for conspiracy over the murder of a journalist in 2002.