Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh’s family will be visiting the sect leader in jail on Wednesday, to get his approval for anointing his son, Jasmeet Insan, as the Dera manager. Ram Rahim is set to continue as Dera chief, despite being in jail.
A day after Ram Rahim was sentenced to 20 years for raping two of his women followers, his son Jasmeet Insan was on Tuesday appointed the administrator of the sect.
According to sources, Ram Rahim’s mother Nasib Kaur (82) and wife Harjit Kaur (46) will visit him in jail to get him to anoint his son Jasmeet Singh as the Dera manager to handle the day-to-day functioning of the sect.
Bhupinder Singh, a first cousin of the Dera chief’s daughter-in-law, Husanpreet, speaking to News18 said that there was no question of the Dera chief giving up his ‘Gaddi’ (seat) as all discretion belongs to him.
The spiritual leader was pronounced guilty in a case filed in 2002 on the basis of anonymous letters written to then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee by the two sadhvis.
Breaking from tradition, Jasmeet was appointed Gurmeet’s successor, an unprecedented move as the sect had never seen a head from the immediate family of the Dera chief.
Jasmeet is a businessman and is married to Punjab Congress leader Harminder Singh Jassi’s daughter. Various reports have suggested that Jasmeet was declared the heir to his father’s throne in 2007 after the latter was charge-sheeted by the CBI in rape and murder cases.
Speculation was rife that Dera chief’s adopted daughter Honeypreet Singh, considered very close to Gurmeet, could be handed over the reins of a sect, whose following runs in crores.
Honeypreet, who is in her thirties, had accompanied Ram Rahim when he was brought to the Special CBI court in Panchkula for the pronouncement of verdict on Friday.
Dera Sacha Sauda headquarters in Sirsa has a sprawling compound which also houses a multi-speciality hospital, a stadium, a bevvy of luxury vehicles. Since the organisation is listed as an NGO, it is exempt from taxes under Income Tax Act’s Section 10(23).
Other than acres of immovable assets spread across Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, the outfit also boasts of strong political connections.