Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim, who is currently lodged in Rohtak’s Sunaria jail for raping two of his disciples, was granted furlough for three weeks on Monday, said officials.
A jail official confirmed the Sirsa-based sect leader’s release for the next three weeks.
The Dera chief has been asked to stay at his farmhouse in Gurugram. He won’t be allowed to visit Sirsa.
“He has been granted furlough from February 7 to 20. Except for his family members, the Dera chief would not be allowed to meet anyone. We will hand him over to Gurugram police who are yet to reach Rohtak. We will release him by evening,” a jail official said.
Earlier, he had been given emergency paroles, from sunrise to sunset, multiple times to meet his ailing mother but this time, he has been granted furlough.
Haryana jail minister Ranjit Singh Chautala said it was the right of every inmate to get furlough as per law and the same was applied to the Dera chief.
Gurmeet Ram Rahim’s release is seen as a significant development ahead of Punjab assembly polls, which will go for voting on February 20. The Sirsa-based sect leader has an influence on many assembly seats in Punjab.
Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar said that furlough to Gurmeet Ram Rahim has nothing to do with any polls, stressing that the Dera chief got the furlough as per the procedures. Khattar was addressing a media briefing after Bollywood actor Mahie Gill and Punjabi actor Hobby Dhaliwal join BJP.
Since Dera chief had completed a minimum of three years in prison, he had applied for the furlough a few days back, Khattar said.
“Everything has been done as per the law,” the Haryana CM added.