After the Haryana government on Monday backed parole for jailed Dera Sacha Sauda Chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, CM Manohar Lal Khattar avoided the media's questions.
The Haryana CM was being evasive and tried to get away when journalists asked him about his stance on the matter. Khattar said that he will talk to the media later and also mentioned that the report will be out by afternoon:
"We are going to meet again later. I will talk to the media at 3 pm. The report will be given later." he said
In addition, the Minister of Transport Krishnan Lal Panwar said that based on the report, a decision will be taken accordingly. He also said that the District Administration will take a decision based on the report. He also added that:
"No one is above the law. However, as per the law, Ram Rahim can request for parole."
Panwar also avoided the media when he was asked if Ram Rahim would repeat a similar mistake. But he constantly maintained that all convicts are entitled to parole if their prison behaviour is good:
"Everyone has a right to parole." he said
But Panwar clarified that the Haryana government's motive was not for vote bank politics for the Vidhan Sabha elections due in two months. He said that if that was the case, the government would have used the strategy before the Lok Sabha polls.
Earlier on Monday, Anil Vij the Cabinet Minister in Khattar's government asserted that Ram Rahim should be treated like any other prisoner and supported Ram Rahim's appeal for a parole:
"There is nothing wrong in giving him parole even though he has been convicted. The parole rule must be the same for all. Like other prisoners gets parole, if he has behaved properly in the jail, he can get parole. Don't join everything to election, parole is his right like any other prisoner. "
("Parole mamla kisi bhi kaidi ka haq hai. Agar Baba ka aacharan jail me thik hai toh use parole mil jaani chahiye.")
In a letter written by the jail superintendent, he has said that the jailed baba has a right to get parole if his behavior has been good in jail. Further, the jail superintendent has mentioned that Gurmeet Ram Rahim's conduct in jail has been good and he has not violated any rule. The district administration has been asked to submit a report to Commissioner, Rohtak Division, with a copy marked to the jail superintendent.
The 51-year-old Dera Sacha Sauda is currently lodged at Sunaria jail in Rohtak after being convicted in two rape cases and murder of a journalist. Following his application for the parole for 42 days, the jail superintendent has written to the Sirsa district administration. In a letter dated June 18, the official sought a report on whether releasing Gurmeet Ram Rahim on parole would be feasible or not.
In August of 2017, the Dera chief was sentenced to 20 years in jail for raping two women. A special CBI court in Panchkula had in January this year also sentenced him and three others to life imprisonment for the murder of a journalist over 16 years ago.