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Kerala refuses security to Sirsa-based dera head Gurmeet Ram Rahim for private visits

Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, head of the Sirsa-based Dera Sacha Sauda, has been refused Z-plus security cover by the Kerala government for his 'private visits (for sight-seeing and real estate business)'.

punjab Updated: Jan 07, 2015 16:58 IST
Hitender Rao
Hitender Rao
Hindustan Times

Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, head of the Sirsa-based Dera Sacha Sauda, has been refused Z-plus security cover by the Kerala government for his "private visits (for sight-seeing and real estate business)".

The Kerala home department has communicated to the union ministry of home affairs (MHA) that security will be given to the Dera chief only on payment basis for his such "private visits".

Kerala home officials said that the Dera head was also violating the Yellow Book guidelines and the MHA should view it seriously. "The MHA should ensure that he adheres to the guidelines during his official visits to Kerala," officials said.

Ram Rahim and his disciples have been frequenting Kerala for the past couple of years visiting Wayanad, Kottayam, Thiruvananthapuram and Idukki on the pretext of rendering spiritual discourses. Kerala officials, however, said that these frequent visits and long stays were more for real estate activities and raises suspicion regarding their objectives.

Kerala officials said that as there was no reciprocal arrangement between Haryana and Kerala governments for providing security cover to Haryana protectee, the Kerala government has also requested Haryana to reimburse a sum of about Rs 2 lakh spent on providing Z-plus cover to Ram Rahim Singh during his earlier visits to the state.

Additional secretary, Home, Kerala, S Sukhi said they have communicated the matter to the MHA on the basis of a request made by the Kerala DGP. "We are not in a position to provide security to the Dera head for his private visits. While we have also informed the MHA about the violation of Yellow Book guidelines by Dera head, a final call on the violations will be taken by the MHA,'' he said.

The Dera head, who is the only other individual besides the Haryana chief minister and the governor to have been accorded Z-plus security cover by the Haryana government on grounds of grave threat to his life, has been accused of violating the Yellow Book guidelines.

Police officials said that on his visits to Kerala, Ram Rahim was accompanied by 20-25 security personnel drawn from Haryana, Punjab and Rajasthan police. "When the Special Branch of Kerala police got in touch with the Dera management during one of Ram Rahim's Kerala visits to know the particulars of his entourage team, the Dera representatives were reluctant to provide information. Also, when Kerala cops approached them for providing security cover, the security personnel escorting Ram Rahim did not allow them access," said a Kerala police official.

"As per the guidelines contained in the Yellow Book issued by the MHA, the state government which assesses the threat perception of an individual makes all security arrangements according to the protectee's security classification. However, the security arrangements by Haryana police can only continue in another state only for 72 hours. Hence by keeping the Haryana security cover for more than 72 hours with him and preventing the Kerala police from performing the security duty, the Dera head has violated the Yellow Book provisions," said a Kerala communication to MHA.

Haryana Police officials said the state government has assigned moveable security cover to Dera head for his 'out of Haryana' visits which he can keep for 72 hours. "Beyond 72 hours, the state government concerned are required to provide categorised security during the stay of the protectee," Haryana officials said.

First Published: Jan 06, 2015 23:14 IST