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Succession row delaying news of controversial Noormehal dera head Ashutosh’s death: media reports

February 2, 2014 | By

Jalandhar/ Chandigarh (February 02, 2014): There are reports in various media sections that the management of Dera Noormehal or ‘Divya Jyoti Jagriti Sansthan (D. J. S. S.) is delaying the news related to death of controversial dera head Ashutosh due to row over succession to the headship of dera.

Hindustan Times (HT) on January 31, 2014 reported: “A Hindustan Times investigation has revealed that the Divya Jyoti Jagriti Sansthan (DJJS) management is probably delaying breaking the news of Ashutosh […]’s ‘death’ so as to resolve the succession row”.

Ashutosh Noormehal

Ashutosh Noormehal [File Photo]

Ajit, a prominent Punjabi vernacular of the region had hinted on January 30 in it’s initial report about death of Ashutosh that dera was attempting to conceal the death of Ashutosh in order to settle succession row before declaring him dead.

Ashutosh, controversial self-styled godman, had reportedly died on early morning of January 29 after sever pain in chest. He was considered to have died because of cardiac arrest, commonly called ‘heart attack’.

The dera is claiming that Ashutosh has gone in ‘samadhi’, which is equal to clinical death, and further that he could revive from ‘samadhi’ in few days.

“The DJJS management has hired two portable mortuary chambers from Nurmahal-based Baba Bhooth Nath Mandir Committee” reported HT, while adding that “[w]hen the HT reporter called up committee caretaker Davinder Kumar on the pretext of hiring a mortuary machine, the latter said, ‘We have only two machines and both were hired by the Nurmahal dera on Wednesday’.”

HT has quoted unnamed sources in the dera disclosing that three factions were involved in the tussle over succession. One faction is led by Amarjit Singh, an old disciple of Ashutosh, known in the dera as Arvindanand. He is a resident of Bilga village in Nurmahal area.

“Some local followers want Arvindanand to head the dera after Ashutosh, but the governing body of the DJJS, led by its president Adityanand, is backing another Ashutosh disciple, Narendranand” HT has reported.

Narendranand, whose original name is Narinder, a resident of Malout in Muktsar district, is presently part of the DJJS’s team in Delhi. A section of the followers is supporting another Ashutosh disciple, Suvidhanand, who has been living on the dera premises for the past many years. Suvidhanand, whose original name is Soni, hails from Shankar village in Jalandhar district. However, the DJJS management has denied any succession row.

However, Jaya Bharti, head of Noormehal dera’s media wing reportedly said that DJSS was governed by a governing body and Ashutosh will announce his successor after coming out of ‘samadhi’.

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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