Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh Insaan, convicted of rape and sentenced to jail for 20 years, has made a strange appeal to the CBI court, which tried him.
The Haryana-based spiritual leader, whose followers wreaked havoc in his defence killing 36 and injuring hundreds of others, has asked for his closest aide, Honeypreet Insaan, to stay by his side while he serves time in prison.
According to Singh, not only was Honeypreet his shadow for years, helping him to run the Dera Sacha Sauda in Sirsa in Haryana and later his film business, she was also his personal masseuse and physiotherapist.
The CBI court has refused to entertain his request.
Honeypreet, who was born Priyanka Taneja, is Singh's adopted daughter, though her husband had alleged a sexual liaison between the two. Later he apologised for this remark and was employed at the Dera as well.
Soon after Singh was convicted, Honeypreet allegedly plotted his escape from the court, but had to remain content with accompanying him on the helicopter that transported him to Rohtak. Photos of the Baba and his 'daughter' sharing chocolates during the flight emerged in the press afterwards.
When the police got wind of Honeypreet's plan of escape, they issued a look-out notice for her, though she is yet to be traced. Initially it was feared that she may have escaped into Nepal, but it is more likely that she is still somewhere in Gurugram, Haryana.
Sources say, apart from longing for Honeypreet, Singh is also missing his lavish lifestyle at the Dera, which was furnished with several resorts modelled after famous buildings, such as the Eiffel Tower. He is believed to be crying in his confinement and behaving far from his usual cheerful disposition.
An anonymous letter, written 15 years ago addressed to the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, was the beginning of the undoing of Singh. It revealed his sexual exploitation of female devotees at the Dera.
Also on HuffPost