Dera Sacha Sauda sect chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh was on Friday granted emergency parole to take care of his ailing mother, The Indian Express reported.

Singh, who has been in prison since 2017, is serving a 20-year term in Rohtak’s Sunaria jail for raping two of his followers in 2002. He was also convicted for murdering former Dera manager Ranjit Singh. Parole is a system of conditional release which is usually subject to the conduct of the prisoner, and requires periodic reporting to the authorities for a specific period of time.

Singh had sought 21-day parole to take care of his mother Naseeb Kaur.

The Dera chief was released from the Sunaria jail on Friday morning and taken to Gurugram to meet his mother. Officials have not disclosed his whereabouts as they are concerned that his followers may gather around his location and create unrest.

After receiving the parole application on May 17, the Sunaria jail authorities wrote to the Haryana Police and Sisra administration “to verify if his mother is actually ill”, according to The Indian Express. Jail Superintendent Sunil Sangwan said they had also asked the Sirsa district administration “to clarify if there would be any law and order threat if he is released on parole”.

Officials on Friday refused to reveal the duration of the parole. “We will reveal information by evening,” an official told the Hindustan Times. “Every prisoner has a right to get parole and it was granted after taking feedback from administration and the police. We gave him a day-long parole last year too.” Singh was allowed to meet his hospitalised mother in October.

Though he has applied for parole several times in the past citing his mother’s condition and the need to farm his land, it has been rejected. In June 2019, a minister in the Haryana government had said that Singh has the right to seek parole. Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar had also said that “anyone who is entitled for parole can seek one” while commenting on the Dera chief’s parole plea.