New Delhi, January 24
Currently out on parole, Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim was seen “celebrating” by cutting a cake with a sword.
The Sirsa-Dera chief who is serving a 20-year jail term for rape and murder, walked out on a 40 day parole from the Sunaria Jail in Haryana’s Rohtak district on Saturday and arrived at his Barnawa Ashram in Uttar Pradesh’s Baghpat. A video of the celebration by Ram Rahim with the giant cake has gone viral on social media.
In his bail application, Ram Rahim had said that he wants to attend an event to mark the birth anniversary of former dera chief Shah Satnam Singh on January 25.
In the purported video that has surfaced on social media, the Dera chief can be heard saying, “Got a chance after five years to celebrate like this so I should cut at least five cakes. This is the first cake.”
Incidentally, public display of weapons i.e cutting a cake with a sword is prohibited under the Arms Act.
Ram Rahim had on Monday virtually inaugurated a mega cleanliness campaign organised by his sect’s volunteers across multiple locations in Haryana and in some other states. A few senior Bharatiya Janata Party leaders from Haryana, including Rajya Sabha MP Krishan Lal Panwar and former minister Krishan Kumar Bedi also participated in the event.
This is the fourth time in the last 14 months and second time in less than three months that Ram Rahim has been granted parole. Earlier, he was released on parole for 40 days in October 2022 ahead of the Haryana panchayat election and the Adampur Assembly bypoll.
He was convicted by a special CBI court in Panchkula in August 2017 for raping two women followers. CBI had registered the case on the orders passed by the High Court of Punjab and Haryana in 2003 and taken over the investigation of the case earlier registered at Police Station Sadar in Kurukshetra.
It was alleged that Ranjit Singh, a resident of village Khanpur Kolian, Kurukshetra was murdered on July 10, 2002, when he was working in his fields at village Khanpur Kolian of District Kurukshetra in Haryana.
After a thorough investigation, CBI filed a charge sheet in 2007 against six accused and charges were framed in 2008 while, on October 8, 2021, the court convicted Rahim and four others in connection with former Dera manager Ranjit Singh’s murder case.