Chandigarh: Used to a life of ultra luxury, disgraced Dera Sacha Sauda sect chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh will now earn a daily wage of Rs 20 for cultivating a small farmholding near his prison barrack and growing vegetables.

The rapist sect chief, who used to spend millions of rupees on his public appearances and crores to build flashy mansions for his comfort, will now have to survive on his meagre earnings from manual work inside the prison, Director General, Jails, K.P. Singh said on Tuesday.

He told media here that Gurmeet Singh was being treated as a common prisoner in jail and would be assigned farming work from next month as part of the 20-year rigorous imprisonment sentence awarded to him by a CBI special court.

The DG denied reports that special facilities were being given to him inside the prison at the District Jasil at Sunaria near Rohtak town.

“All news reports about special treatment and his health are misleading and divorced from truth,” he said.

“Jail rules allow two persons having blood relation to talk to a prisoner over the phone. The prisoner is allowed to talk after police verification of the phone numbers. Gurmeet Singh gave two phone numbers, one of which belongs to Honeypreet, while the other is his own. Honeypreet’s number is not reachable and Gurmeet Singh might have left his phone in the Dera.

“Since these numbers have not been verified so far, Gurmeet Singh has not taken advantage of the convenience of any phone call,” he said.

He also said that the information from fellow prisoners, who were being released from the same prison, regarding Gurmeet Singh were not correct as only a few prisoners were allowed to go to his barrack due to security reasons.

“His safety is being taken care of on the basis of reports of police, intelligence and other security agencies. Jail management is not letting every prisoner go to Gurmeet’s barrack. Prisoners who were giving interview to the media after coming out of jail did not have access to the barrack of Gurmeet Singh,” Singh said.

“The news about Gurmeet crying while keeping his head in his mother’s lap who came to jail to see him, was also misleading as glass and a net separates a visitor from the prisoner,” he added.

Referring to work allocated to Gurmeet Singh in the jail, the DGP said keeping in view the security scenario, the jail administration has decided to entrust farming to him.

“There is an empty place close to his barrack where he has been given the task of planting vegetables and he is preparing for the task. He will plant vegetables in the first week of October. In front of the barrack, there are some trees which have been given to him for harvesting. He will earn a daily wage of Rs 20,” the DGP added.

The sect chief has been lodged in prison since August 25 when he was convicted by the CBI court in Panchkula on two counts of rape of female disciples in 1999.

He was later sentenced to 20 years of rigorous imprisonment and a fine of over Rs 30 lakh.