No decision yet on Ram Rahim’s parole application, Haryana CM says can’t stop anyone either

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Published: June 25, 2019 5:35:15 PM

Earlier this month, Rahim filed an application seeking parole for farming. Acting on his application, the authorities began the process to ascertain how much land he owns — a move that created flutter among the people who questioned the state government over why it was even entertaining his plea.

Manohar Lal Khattar said that his government has not arrived at a final decision on the parole application filed by jailed Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim. (IE)

Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Tuesday said that his government has not arrived at a final decision on the parole application submitted by jailed Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim. In 2017, the Dera chief was convicted in rape and murder cases, and is currently serving a 20-year jail term at Sunaria jail in Rohtak, Haryana.

Earlier this month, Rahim filed an application seeking parole for farming. Acting on his application, the authorities began the process to ascertain how much land he owns — a move that created flutter among the people who questioned the state government over why it was even entertaining his plea. As criticism grew, Chief Minister Khattar said: “There are certain legal procedures and a person who has the right to seek parole can seek it. We can’t stop anyone. As of now, no decision has been taken on Ram Rahim’s parole.”

According to reports, Ram Rahim has sought 42 days parole to do farming on his fields in Sirsa. Sirsa Deputy Commissioner Ashok Kumar Garg recently confirmed that Rahim’s application was under process and the authorities have sought reports from the revenue and police departments.

Ram Rahim was once known for his political clout due to his large number of followers in the state. It is said that the politicians used to visit Rahim’s Dera before any elections to seek his support.

Opposition leaders have alleged that the government may want him out of jail as the state is just months away from the assembly polls. However, Haryana Health Minister Anil Vij rejected this charge saying Ram Rahim or any other prisoner is entitled to seek parole and it should not be linked with the upcoming state Assembly polls.

“There is no connection between the two…any convict is entitled to apply for parole. However, whether to grant one or not will be decided by the concerned authorities after taking various factors into account,” Vij said. However, the minister added that the fallen self proclaimed godman was within his rights to seek parole.

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