Uneasy calm prevails at the Divya Jyoti Jagrati Sansthan (DJJS) in Nurmahal (Jalandhar) with reports coming in that dera head Ashutosh has died. Dera representatives dismiss the reports as rumours, but a team of doctors of Satgur Partap Singh Apollo Hospital, Ludhiana, that examined Ashutosh said the dera head is “clinically dead”. However, dera denies that any team from Ludhiana examined Ashutosh.
Dera claims that Ashutosh has entered ‘samadhi’ (state of deep meditation). Security beefed up at dera. Devotees start arriving in large numbers. Management of Bhootnath temple, situated a few km from the dera, says dera has taken two portable mortuaries from them.
Dera claims that the body of Ashutosh is in a ‘stable’ condition and is not decomposing.
: After being in the denial mode for five days, dera representatives admit that Ashutosh’s body has been kept in a freezer (portable mortuary), but maintain that he is still in ‘samadhi’.
Also, acting on a PIL filed by Puran Singh, the Punjab and Haryana high court directs the Punjab government to submit a report pertaining to Ashutosh’s status by February 5.
Punjab Police submit report in high court that Ashutosh is “clinically dead”. The medical report prepared by Dr Harpal Singh Nadda, Dr Kartar Kaur, and Dr Ashok submitted along with the affidavit.
One Dalip Jha claims that Ashutosh was his father, demands that the body be handed over the family.
: Satpal Maharaj, founder of Manav Uthhaan Sewa Samiti, where Ashutosh was a discipline before the launch of the DJJS in 1983, says Ashutosh’s body be handed over to his family so that they can perform the last rites.
Ashutosh’s ‘former driver’ Puran Singh moves high court, seeking Ashutosh’s medical examination by a team of doctors from the PGI or any other reputed government institution. Later, through another petition, he demanded CBI probe in the case.
Dalip Jha demands high-level probe into the matter. Alleges that his father has been murdered by some of the dera representatives.
After hearing the case, justice MMS Bedi reserves judgment.
High court directed the Punjab government to conduct the last rites of Ashutosh within 15 days.