Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh Insan, the self-styled godman behind bars since 2017 after being convicted in two rapes cases and for murdering a journalist, has sought parole for 42 days for farming on his land in Sirsa.
The Sunaria jail superintendent in Rohtak had written to the district administration mentioned that the Dera Sacha Sauda sect chief's conduct in prison was good and he had not violated any rule. Sirsa police is yet to give its recommendation on the question of parole.
After news of the jail superintendent's recommendation started circulating, some said the move was politically motivated.
A few BJP leaders defended the possibility of parole, citing either the “rule of law” or the “good behavior” shown by Ram Rahim during his time in jail.
Gurmeet Ram Rahim is known to have been a political force multiplier for different political parties at different times in Punjab and Haryana, where he commands a considerable following among backward classes.
Haryana goes to elections at the end of this year.
As the day wore on, #DontSpareRapistBaba started trending on Twitter, encapsulating the public sentiment.
People slammed the Haryana government for backing a rapist. Some reminded it of the BJP's Beti Bachao Beti Padhao campaign, which aimed to make the state safe for women and also bring about positive social changes in the light of rampant selective abortions and the skewed gender-ratio in the state.
Some of Ram Rahim's hardcore supporters came out in his support. These fans were far from lacking in zeal in advertising some of Ram Rahim’s “good work” done for the poor, and posted tweets in a bid to remind people of his "achievements".
Ram Rahim was jailed after he was convicted of raping two of his devotees and murdering a journalist, Ram Chander Chhatarpati.
Chhatarpati had published a letter in 2002 written by one of the devotees raped by Ram Rahim.
Ram Rahim was sentenced for 20 years on two rape charges in October 2017. In January 2019, he was convicted of murder.