Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leader Harsimrat Kaur Badal on Monday said that repeated paroles to  Dera Sacha Sauda (DSS) chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, a rape and murder convict, by the ruling dispensation were spreading communal disharmony in the region.

A spokesperson of the SAD said the Lok Sabha member from Bathinda said this at the all-party meeting on the eve of the budget session of Parliament. “There should be one law for all,” she said, adding the select manner in which paroles and remissions were being granted to rapists and murderers was disturbing.
“The Sikh community is hurt that while all this is happening, the commitment made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the community on the 550th birth anniversary celebrations of Shri Guru Nanak Dev Ji in 2019 to free all Sikh detainees(Bandi Singhs) has not been implemented till now. The community is questioning why a rapist has been given repeated paroles after every few months while Bandi Singhs have been incarcerated for up to 30 years without parole, even after completion of their jail terms,” the former Union minister said.
Badal said an impression has gained ground that the preferential treatment being given to Gurmeet Ram Rahim is to take political advantage in elections“. She said the manner in which Gurmeet Ram Rahim was holding Satsangs virtually also indicated this effect. “This movie has the capacity to derail the Beti Padhao, Beti Bachao initiative, besides sending the wrong message in civil society”, the Member of Parliament (MP) added.
Gurmeet Ram Rahim walked out of the Sunaria jail in Rohtak (Haryana) on 21 January after he was granted 40-day parole. The Dera chief, who is serving a 20-year jail term for raping his two disciples, had got 40-day parole in October last year which had ended on 25 November .
Prior to his October parole, the sect chief had come out of prison on a month-long parole in June.  He was also granted three weeks of furlough from 7 February 2022, barely two weeks before the Punjab Assembly elections.
In 2021, the Dera chief, along with four others, was also convicted for hatching a conspiracy to kill Ranjit Singh, a Dera manager. The Dera chief and three others were convicted in 2019 for the murder of a journalist over 16 years ago.
Meanwhile, speaking on the issue of the Union government’s initiative to seek renegotiation of the Indus water Treaty,  Badal said “All water agreements between Punjab and other states, including Rajasthan and Haryana should be reviewed in the same manner”.
She said that this should be done as per the Riparian principle under which the state through which a river flowed had an inalienable right over it.  Badal said the SYL agreement should also be revoked as Punjab had earlier been forced by the then Congress government to hand over its river waters to Haryana.
The Bathinda MP said this was importantas Punjabis did not trust the Aam Aadmi Party government to safeguard their river waters. “AAP convenor and Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal is on record to have demanded that Punjab river waters be released to Haryana and Delhi,” she added.

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