Thousands of devotees assembled at Nigam Bodh Ghat for the last rites of spiritual leader and head of Sant Nirankari Mission Baba Hardev Singh who died in a road accident in Canada.
The roads leading to the ghat were choc-a-bloc with people who had flocked from Haryana, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Maharasthra, Punjab and Bihar to get last glimpse of their “Guru” before the cremation on Wednesday.
“I have been standing here since 7 am to see Guruji one more time before his body is cremated,” said Amarjeet, who has been following the mission since 1996.
Followers of the mission climbed the gates and boundary walls of the cremation ground to get a glimpse of Singh. “It is very crowded inside and I am not able to get in, so I climbed the wall,” said Ravi Soni, who came from Haryana.
Singh and his son-in-law Avneet Setya died in a car crash near Montreal in Canada on May 13. Singh, who became a member of the mission in 1971, became the spiritual head of the mission on April 24, 1980, after his father and former head Baba Gurbachan Singh was shot dead.
“His mortal remains were cremated at CNG Crematorium, Nigam Bodh Ghat. Pujya Mata Savinder Ji, who succeeded him last night as the Spiritual Head of the Sant Nirankari Mission, and other members as well as relatives of the holy family were present,” said Kirpa Singh, member in charge.
The body of 62-year-old Singh was brought to Delhi on Monday morning and was placed in Samagam Ground No 8 near Sant Nirankari Colony for “final holy glimpse”.
The mission said in a statement that, “More than five lakh devotees of the Mission from across the country and abroad are estimated to have received ‘Antim Darshan’ of Baba Hardev Singh Ji Maharaj... Avneet’s body was also laid by the side of Baba Ji’s mortal remains”.
The funeral procession on Wednesday choked all the key arterial roads in north Delhi.
The procession started early morning from the mission’s main centre at Kingsway Camp area and ended in the afternoon at Nigam Bodh Ghat area here.
The procession passed through Burari, Outer Ring Road, Parmanand Colony, Mall Road, Ring Road and Kashmere Gate ISBT, clogging all arterial roads.
INSET: Baba’s widow anointed as new head of sect
New Delhi: The Nirankari sect late on Tuesday decided to make Savinder Kaur, widow of the deceased Baba Hardev Singh, as the head of the group.
She will be the first woman and the fifth to head the sect founded in 1929.
In her late fifties, Savinder hails from Farooqabad town of Uttar Pradesh. She married Hardev Singh in 1975.
Savinder was offered the ceremonial ‘dupatta’ at the anointment ceremony attended by the 21-member management committee headed by its president JRD Satyarthi. Kaur led the sect during Wednesday’s ceremonies to perform the last rites of Baba Hardev Singh and son-in-law Avneet Setya.
With PTI inputs