Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, who was protected by black cat commandos all these years as part of his Z+ protection, is now guarded by three life convicts duly vetted and cleared by the officials of Rohtak’s Sunaria jail, and stay with him in his cell.
Now prisoner number 8647, Ram Rahim, who was convicted for rape of two women and sentenced to a total of 20 years imprisonment, is “slowly getting used to life in jail”, said Haryana Director General (Prisons) KP Singh.
The convicts guarding him are designated as “Convict Night-watchmen (CNWs)”. They are “the jail’s most trusted and reliable prisoners” and are with Ram Rahim 24×7 despite their title. These CNWs report back to the barrack officer who is a police official, who in turn reports to the jail administration.
The DGP said the dera chief was turning out to be “most disciplined and well behaved prisoner” who quietly follows all the directions given to him, eats his jail meals without a fuss, and carries out his task of gardening in a small patch outside his cell.
Every convict is allowed to talk to a family member for five minutes every day. Ram Rahim gave two phone numbers to the jail officials so that he could speak on those numbers. Sources said one number was that of Honeypreet, and was switched off, while the other was his own personal number.
“He must have given it to a trusted confidant. The police officials are on it,” said an official.
DGP Singh said Ram Rahim was in a separate “security cell”.
The three men with him were chosen after a verification process to ensure they were not dera followers. One of them is about 74-years-old while other two are in their 60s. “After looking at the past record of these three people who have spent over 10 to 12 years in the jail without any complaints and especially the fact that they are not his sympathizers, they stay with Ram Rahim,”said the official.
The dera chief, who lived a king-size, starts his day with two pieces of bread (100 gram) and 250 ml of milk before heading to work, which is tilling soil, growing vegetables and watering plants at a 500-yard patch which is adjacent to his cell. As he works as an unskilled labour for about five hours a day, the work fetches him Rs 20 per day.
But his family has been allowed to deposit a sum of Rs 5000 per month, permitted under rules, so that he can buy eatables from the jail tuck shop.
The prescribed diet of Ram Rahim in the jail is 3,170 calories. “Seven chappatis and dal in the lunch and a meal comprising seven chappatis and a vegetable in the dinner is what he is having. Like other prisoners, he has been taking all his meals without any fuss,” said an official of the prisons department. “Today, it’s ghiya (Bottle Gourd) which would be prepared in the Sunaria jail for convicts. Yesterday, it was bhindi (lady finger). Though, Ram Rahim also purchases fruits from the canteen for his consumption. He gets up at 6 am as a jail official comes on his task of the counting the prisoners. After breakfast, the cell is opened at 8 am which is again closed from 1 pm to 4 pm. Dinner is served at sunset and the cell is closed,” the official said.
The dera chief, who has been given a white kurta pyjama, has not been given access to the newspapers as yet. “He had asked for Bhagavad Gita which has been given to him. Two dera books have also been given by his mother during her visit. He reads that in his cell,” the DG (Prisons) said.