Prison food for Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh tasted for safety, samples preserved for 48 hours

Ram Rahim's barrack has only three other prisoners, but all of them are lodged in different cells. "This is also part of our strategy," added an official.

Written by SUKHBIR SIWACH | Chandigarh | Updated: September 29, 2017 3:26 pm
Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, Ram Rahim jail, Dera Sacha Sauda, Ram Rahim jail food, Ram Rahim Singh jail, India news, Indian Express Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh (Express Photo by Vikram Joy)

With Dera Sacha Sauda head Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh being a prisoner with high threat perception, authorities are taking no chances while serving him food inside Rohtak’s Sunaria jail. The food being given to the convicted dera head is tasted for its safety before being served and the entire process is videographed. Further, samples taken from each food item are preserved for 48 hours.

The dera chief has been in jail for one month after his conviction on August 25 for raping two sadhvis (female followers) at the dera headquarters in Sirsa.

“We have to be very careful about his security because of the threat perception to his life, even inside the jail. Intelligence agencies have already given their inputs in this regard,” an official of Haryana Prisons Department told The Indian Express on Thursday.

The source added, “We have to keep an eye on his food because somebody, as part of a conspiracy, might try to poison his meal. All the food for the prisoners is cooked in the kitchen under the watch of CCTV cameras. Before it being taken to the dera chief, it is tasted by a senior officer of the prisons department. When jail officials take his food to his barrack, a cameraperson escorts them to videograph the journey from the kitchen. Every clipping is preserved for a week.”

The dera chief has been kept in a barrack and guarded by several layers of security guards. The barrack has about a dozen cells in the shape of small rooms.

“His position in the jail is constantly changed so that nobody can pinpoint his location. The dera chief faces threat from external sources also,” said an official.

When contacted, Haryana Director General (Prisons) KP Singh said, “Apart from the regular jail superintendent, an additional jail superintendent has been posted in the jail to look after the security arrangements… Surprise checking is also conducted by the jail officers and judicial officers.”

K P Singh himself inspected the security arrangements inside the jail a few days ago.

Ram Rahim’s barrack has only three other prisoners, but all of them are lodged in different cells. “This is also part of our strategy. All three prisoners were sentenced for life but likely to be released in next few years. We feel that none of them will harm Ram Rahim because any such action would harm their prospects of an early release,” added the official.

A source further said, “The dera chief can roam in his barrack and meet the other prisoners. But he cannot go out of his barrack area, and nobody else can enter his area. An official has been deputed in front of his barrack to ensure compliance of the orders. We have to take such precaution because of apprehensions of violence by prisoners against him. He is taken out of the barrack to the library, or to the courtroom inside the jail meant for his appearance before the Panchkula court through video-conferencing.” The dera chief is still facing trial in two murder cases.

About his behaviour in prison, the official said: “He behaves like a normal prisoner. He was almost enjoying the status of god with his followers before his conviction.”

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