Dera: Punjab fears law & order trouble from Dera chief’s parole | India News

CHANDIGARH: The AAP-governed Punjab has taken a view diametrically opposite to that of Haryana’s BJP government on Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh’s ongoing parole, saying it may adversely affect law and order.
The AAP government’s assertions were made in an affidavit to the Punjab and Haryana HC in response to a petition by Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC), challenging a January 21 Haryana administration order releasing the Dera chief on a 40-day parole.
The Haryana government has already defended the Dera chief, argued he is “not a hardcore prisoner” and that his conviction in two murder cases “could not be termed serial killings” as he was not the assailant. Haryana also pointed out that the HC had in April last year upheld the state order granting him furlough.
Incidentally, the Dera chief returned to Rohtak jail on Friday after the parole ended. He is currently serving time in rape and murder cases.
According to the Punjab government, however, some sections of society juxtapose the temporary release of the Dera chief to long incarcerations faced by a section of prisoners. The state already faces months of sit-ins demanding the release of “Bandi Singhs” — a term used to describe Sikh prisoners convicted of involvement in militancy.
The Bhagwant Mann-led AAP government also recalled several deaths in Punjab after the “mayhem created by his (Gurmeet’s) followers” in Panchkula in August 2017 when the Dera chief was convicted by a court in the Haryana town in rape cases.
“Information has been obtained that the temporary release of the Dera chief from custody is likely to create disturbance in the law-and-order situation in Punjab,” the affidavit by ADGP (law and order) Arpit Shukla states and cites the Panchkula rampage in which the “Dera chief had tried to over-awe the state authorities”.
Gurmeet is serving a sentence of 10 years’ each in two rape cases and life imprisonment for the murders of a journalist, Ram Chander Chhatarpati, and a former Dera manager, Ranjit Singh.
He faces four more criminal proceedings, including a CBI case related to alleged castration of disciples and three Punjab cases of sacrilege. The Supreme Court recently shifted trials in the three cases to Chandigarh.
Watch Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim returns to Rohtak’s Sunaria Jail after 40-day parole

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