Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, currently in jail after being convicted for raping two female followers, will not be seen relaxing at VIP airport lounges whenever he gets out of prison.
The Civil Aviation Ministry on Friday told the Airports Authority of India that the government has reconsidered allowing Gurmeet Singh access to reserved lounges that are present in airports across the country.
“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 signed by Suryash Narain (a director in the aviation ministry) and addressed to the chairman of the Airports Authority of India (AAI) and all other private and joint-venture airport operators in India.
While the letter referred to a previous aviation ministry letter on the same subject from 2015, it did not specify when and how Ram Rahim was allowed access to these reserved lounges – the letter merely says that “it was observed” that permission is in existence in favour of letting Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh use the reserve lounges.
Permission to access the reserve lounges at airports comes under the purview of the Civil Aviation Ministry.
The ministry’s move comes about a week after the Dera Sacha Sauda chief was sent to 20 years in jail by a special Central Bureau of Investigation court in Himachal Pradesh. Ram Rahim was convicted of two counts of rape and handed a punishment of 10 years each for the two rapes. He will serve the jail terms consecutively and not simultaneously.
(With PTI inputs)
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