Seeking to dismiss claims that Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh was being given special treatment, Haryana's DGP (Prisons) K P Singh said judicial officers conducts surprise checks in Rohtak's Sunaria jail where the rape-convicted sect head is lodged.
"Almost every week a judicial officer conducts a surprise check and inspects the barrack where Ram Rahim Singh is lodged...There is no prior notice to jail authorities. Nothing adverse has been found so far. Any claims of special treatment are baseless and far from the truth," the officer said.
He was asked to comment on the claims made by a out-on- bail inmate who alleged that the Dera chief was being extended special treatment in the prison.
The inmate claimed that no one had seen Ram Rahim Singh in the jail complex though other prisoners see food packed in a tiffin box being ferried to one of the barracks each day.
DGP Singh, however, maintained that Ram Rahim Singh was being treated like any other ordinary prisoner.
Singh said that because of security considerations, Ram Rahim Singh, sentenced for raping two disciples, was lodged in a barrack with only 5-6 prisoners with a track record of "good conduct".
"On security grounds, only a few inmates have been kept in Ram Rahim Singh's barrack. Only those prisoners whom we thought can be put there from the security point of view, only they have access to his barrack," he said.
Besides, jail staff with an impeccable record have been put on duty near his barrack, he said.
"Due to security reasons other prisoners are not allowed to come in his contact. As far as claims that a tiffin box goes out daily, let me clarify that the distance from the jail kitchen to Ram Rahim's barrack within the jail complex is about 1 km. So, the tiffin box is put on an e-rickshaw from the kitchen to the barrack," he said.
Singh said that 24x7 videography is done in Sunaria jail's kitchen where the food is cooked for prisoners.
"For security reasons, one of our officer tastes his (Ram Rahim's) food and those of other prisoners lodged in his barrack everyday before it is cleared for their consumption. He (Ram Rahim) is being provided the same food as other prisoners," he said.
The 50-year-old self-styled godman, who boasted of millions of followers, is lodged in Rohtak's Sunaria jail for raping two disciples.
A special CBI court had sentenced him to 20 years in jail, 10 years each in the two rape cases, on August 28. And the 'pita-ji', as his followers used to call him, then became prisoner number 1997.