Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh: From 'baba of the bling' to rape convict

Airport VIP lounge access for Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh to be withdrawn

Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh. File  

The Airports Authority of India (AAI) has written to the Civil Aviation Ministry to remove Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh from the list of dignitaries who had access to the lounge at airports across the country.

“The matter has come to our notice. I have directed my officials to write to the Ministry of Civil Aviation to remove his name from the list of dignitaries entitled to use reserved lounge at airports after he was convicted in a recent case,” AAI Chairman Guruprasad Mohapatra told The Hindu.

The Dera chief has been sentenced to jail for 20 years by a CBI Court for rape this Monday.
The Prime Minister, the President, the head of foreign governments, the Cabinet Secretary and Members of Parliament are among those allowed to use VIP lounge at airports.

The names of those who are allowed to use "reserve lounge" at the airports run by Airport Authority of India are cleared by the civil aviation ministry. There is a "no frisk" list, which is cleared by the home ministry and the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS).

In 2015, the civil aviation ministry had removed Robert Vadra, the son-in-law of Congress President Sonia Gandhi from the “no-frisk” list at airports across the country. The move came after Mr. Vadra in a Facebook post asked government to remove him from the list.

Till then, Mr. Vadra, businessman husband of Priyanka Gandhi, an SPG protectee, was exempted from frisking at airports when he travelled with an SPG protectee.

Mr. Vadra was the only private person apart from the Dalai Lama, whose names figure in the list of 34 categories of persons exempted from frisking at airports. The others whose name figure in the list are former Presidents, Chief Justice of India, cabinet minister among others.

It was immediately not known when the Dera chief's name was included in the list of dignitaries allowed access to the VIP lounge at AAI run airports. However, in 2015, the Dera chief and Yoga practitioner turned businessman Baba Ramdev had approached the government to include their names in the "no frisk" list. This proposal was however not accepted as it requires clearances from the security agencies.


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Printable version | Jan 20, 2022 2:25:25 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/airport-vip-lounge-access-for-gurmeet-ram-rahim-singh/article19605412.ece

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