The government has ordered that rape convict Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh be removed from the list of dignitaries allowed access to the VIP lounge of airports. A CBI court last week sentenced the self-styled godman and chief of Dera Sacha Sauda sect to 20 years in prison –- 10 years each for two rape cases. “It has now been decided to withdraw the permission for use of reserve lounge at airports granted to Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, Chief of Dera Sacha Sauda, Sirsa, with immediate effect,” says a letter dated September 1 from the Civil Aviation ministry to the chairman of the Airports Authority of India (AAI).
Permission to access “reserve lounges” at airports comes under the purview of the the ministry. However, it could not be immediately ascertained when Gurmeet Singh was given this perk. A senior official of AAI said instructions have been passed on to regional executive directors as well as airport directors to comply with the order.