9 months on, mystery still shrouds of Nurmahal dera chief's ‘death’

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Jalandhar
  • Updated: Oct 28, 2014 13:13 IST

Mystery continues to shroud the death of Nurmahal-based Divya Jyoti Jagriti Sansthan (DDJS) head Ashutosh Maharaj, with the dera management keeping his body in a deep freezer for the past nine months ever since the controversy erupted on January 29 this year.

With dera managers continuously refuting to accept that Ashutosh is dead and claiming that he is in a state of samadhi (deep meditation), it has become an even bigger puzzle for both the Divya Jyoti Jagriti Sansthan followers and the local administration.

An official, who visited the dera in the last week of September and saw Ashutosh’s body while taking stock of the situation to present the state government’s stand in a hearing in the Punjab and Haryana high court, told HT that the body, preserved in a freezer, has turned black and shrunk in size.

Two petitions—filed by Bihar native Dalip Jha, who claims himself to be Ashutosh’s son and the other by Puran Singh, former driver of the DJJS head— will come up in the high court on October 29. The court has asked Jha to come out with proof about his relationship with Ashutosh.

On January 29 this year, an uneasy calm prevailed at the Divya Jyoti Jagriti Sansthan as soon as reports emerged that Ashutosh Maharaj had died.

By noon, the dera was flooded with anxious devotees and mediapersons. In the first interaction, the DJJS representatives termed the reports as “mere rumours” claiming that Ashutosh had taken samadhi in the wee hours (12.10 am) that day.

Some devotees and sewadars at the dera revealed that Ashutosh complained of chest pain. Doctors from the Satgur Partap Singh Apollo Hospital, Ludhiana, visited the dera and examined the dera head only to conclude that he was “clinically dead”. The doctors said that Ashutosh’s heartbeat and pulse rate were zero. The DJJS management refused to comment on the issue saying it was sub-judice. “Our stand is clear.

The DJJS head is in samadhi and we firmly believe that he will come out of meditative state,” a top dera manager said.

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