February 3, 2014 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
Chandigarh/ Punjab (February 03, 2014): The events related to secrecy over the death of controversial ‘godman’ Ashutosh took another turn as the Punjab and Haryana took up a petition seeking release of Mahesh Kumar Jha alias Ashutosh, chief of Noormehal Dera, allegedly from the illegal custody of four Dera followers. The high court has directed the Punjab government to file the status report by Wednesday (February 05).
According to Hindustan Times (HT): [t]he court headed by justice MMS Bedi, also issued notices of motion to Arvinda Nand, Soni, Narinder Singh and Vishala Nand, all residents of the Nurmahal Dera who as per the petitioner are responsible for illegal detention of sect’s head, expected to be in 70s, for usurping the Dera property. The four Dera members had been ordered to file their replies by February 11.
It may be recalled that the condition of Divya Jyoti Jagriti Sansthan or Nurmahal Dera’s controversial head Ashutosh is shrouded under mystery since January 29. Asutosh reportedly died on early morning of 29th January but the dera management is claiming that Ashutosh was ‘spiritually alive’ while affirming that he was clinically dead.
The petitioner, Puran Singh, who is ex-driver of the Dera head and a resident of Ohrian Mohalla, Nurmahal, has filed the habeas corpus writ petition in the High Court.
According to Hindustan Times (HT): [t]he petitioner’s counsel informed the court that the Dera was established in 1983 and Ashutosh has hundreds of crore cash and property worth more than Rs. 1,000 crore to his credit.
“The petitioner has alleged that the four Dera followers had turned greedy and since they wanted to usurp the property, they had illegally confined the Dera head in a room and were neither allowing the petitioner nor the media persons to enter the place”, HT reported further.
The petitioner reportedly informed the court that the four Dera followers had been spreading the rumours that the Dera head was sitting in a samadhi and would rise whenever he would wish to come out of the room. There are also rumours that the Dera head has clinically expired as disclosed by the Dera doctors.
The petitioner is of the view that the four Dera followers want to obtain Dera head’s signatures for transfer of properties and the seat of dera head.
It may be recalled that Ashutosh and Dera Noormehal remained at the horns of controversies becuase of their anti-Sikh activities. Punjab government led by Captain Amrinder Singh had banned Ashutosh’s activities in Punjab after his activities had led to unrest in the State. The ban was however lifted by Punjab government led by Badal-BJP combine.
Badal Government overlooked the apparent threat to law and order situation when Ashutosh announced to hold a public function at Ludhaina on December 5, 2009. Punjab police used excessive force to repress public protests against Ashutosh’s function. Bhai Darshan Singh Lohara was killed in police firing and several others had sustained injuries in this incident.
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Related Topics: Anti-Sikh Deras, Ashutosh, Dera Noormehal