The government has ordered that rape convict Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh be removed from the list of dignitaries allowed access to the VIP lounge of airports.
"It has now been decided to withdraw the permission for use of reserve lounge at airports granted to Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, Chief of Dera Sacha Sauda, Sirsa, with immediate effect," says a letter dated September 1 from the Civil Aviation ministry to the chairman of the Airports Authority of India (AAI).
Permission to access "reserve lounges" at airports comes under the purview of the ministry. However, it could not be immediately ascertained when Gurmeet Singh was given this perk.
A senior official of AAI said instructions have been passed on to regional executive directors as well as airport directors to comply with the order.
Meanwhile, the Indian Film and Television Directors' Association (IFTDA) today cancelled the membership of Ram Rahim and his "adopted daughter" Honeypreet Kaur, with the Cine and TV Artists Association (CINTAA) following suit. They have barred the two from making any movies in future.
Actor Sushant Singh, general secretary of CINTAA, said: "We have cancelled his (Ram Rahim's) work permit. It's the committee's decision. He has committed a crime. Depending on the heinous nature of the crime, we had the power to cancel his membership. Considering that, he is not worthy of our membership."
A CBI court last week sentenced the self-styled godman and chief of Dera Sacha Sauda sect to 20 years in prison –- 10 years each for two rape cases.