Son-rise amid dark days for dera: Jasmeet Insan is now chief executive
The decision to give the executive position to Jasmeet Insan was taken at a 45-member core committee meeting of the dera on Monday, the day Gurmeet Ram Rahim was sentenced.
Facing a crisis of leadership and image after the 20-year sentencing of sect head Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh in a rape case, Sirsa-headquartered Dera Sacha Sauda (DSS) on Tuesday declared his 33-year-old son, Jasmeet Insan, as “karajkari parbandhak” (executive manager) with all financial and decision-making powers.
Jasmeet’s posting as effectively the chief executive officer stops short of handover of the ‘gaddi’ (seat), and comes amid speculation that the headship would be given to someone from outside the family as per the sect’s convention. The two women being talked about are the dera head’s adopted daughter Honeypreet Insan and the sect’s chairperson Vipassana.
Gurmeet Ram Rahim will thus continue to remain the “spiritual and supreme head”, sources said.
The decision to give the executive position to Jasmeet was taken at a 45-member core committee meeting of the dera on Monday, the day the dera chief was sentenced. Gurmeet’s mother Naseeb Kaur was present at the meeting and strongly persuaded Jasmeet’s case, said a top dera follower.
Born on August 17, 1984, as per his school certificate, Jasmeet is married to Bathinda region Congress leader and former minister Harminder Jassi’s daughter, Husanmeet. Jassi, a top Congress source revealed, has been camping at the dera headquarters in Sirsa for the last three days and also played an instrumental role in pushing Jasmeet’s name.
“Most members of the committee,which comprises dera managers from Punjab, Haryana and Delhi, and trustees, were in favour of elevating Jasmeet, who till now was looking after the sports wing of the dera. Sadhvi (‘saint’) Vipassana, who is chairperson for managing routine functioning of the dera, was also present at the meeting,” sources close to a trustee hailing from the Malwa region told HT.
Sources also said that Honeypreet, said to be the closest aide to the dera head, denied any post in the management. She has remained incommunicado.
Out of the shadows: Know the son
Jasmeet Insan, said to have graduated from college, carries a non-controversial image among dera followers and avoided coming to the forefront even during the big events of the sect. He has two sisters.
The last time he ended up in the spotlight was in 2003, when he married Congress leader Harminder Jassi’s daughter at the age of 19.
Up to Class 6 in school, he remained with his mother at Gurusar Modia village in Sriganganagar district of Rajasthan, the native place of the dera head. Later, when the family shifted to the Sirsa dera headquarters, he remained at the older HQ, known as Shah Satnam dera, on Begu Road of Sirsa.
“Jasmeet grew up in security, and studied in the dera school and college. Close confidants of Ram Rahim — Sewa Singh and Parveen Kumar — used to accompany Jasmeet like shadows until he was married in 2003,” said a former dera follower who knew the family well.
He was given a sprawling bungalow of six acres on the dera campus. A politician who has once a member of the core panel claimed that when the bungalow was being built, “Rs 1.18 crore were on the interiors of a washroom alone”.
Others who matter
VIPASSANA: The 35-year-old ‘Guru Brahmachari’ is the dera ‘nambardar’ — effectively the second-in-command, before dera head Jasmeet’s rise — who managed the day-to-day affairs. She heads a 250-member management committee for the past seven years and was consulted by Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh on important matters before he went to jail. She hails from Sirsa and is a graduate from a college run by the dera.
HONEYPREET: In her thirties, Honeypreet Insan, née Priyanka Taneja, is an adopted daughter of the dera head and describes herself as “Papa’s angel, philanthropist, director, editor and actress” on social media. Her word was considered the sect head’s decision. Honeypreet acted with Ram Rahim as a leading lady in his string of forgettable films. She caught the media’s attention when she took the chopper ride with him to Rohtak after he was held guilty of rape.