Chandigarh, Sep 15 (IANS) In wake of recent events embroiling the Dera Sacha Sauda whose head has been convicted for rape, Haryana Education Minister Ram Bilas Sharma on Friday said that the Rs 51 lakh grant announced by him for the sect has been withdrawn.

“The grant of Rs 51 lakh, which was announced on August 15 for Dera Sacha Sauda Sirsa, has been withdrawn,” Sharma told media here.

The sect chief, Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, was convicted on August 25 by a CBI special court in Panchkula on two counts of rape of female disciples. He was later sentenced to 20 years of rigorous imprisonment.

Sharma had visited the sect headquarters near Sirsa town, around 260 km from here, on August 15 for a function and had made the announcement of the grant from the Haryana government’s side.

The minister, who is around 60 years old, was seen prostrating and touching the feet of the 50-year-old self styled godman.

Rapist Ram Rahim is now lodged in the District Jail at Sunaria near Rohtak.

This is published unedited from the IANS feed.