Ashutosh death case: ‘New’ deadline stumps dera | punjab | Hindustan Times
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Ashutosh death case: ‘New’ deadline stumps dera

Even as the Divya Jyoti Jagriti Sansthan (DJJS) continues to prepare for a “massive” congregation of its followers on December 14, the Punjab government on Monday said the deadline given to it by the Punjab and Haryana high court for the funeral of dera head Ashutosh is December 17 actually, and not December 15.

punjab Updated: Dec 09, 2014 16:36 IST
Ravinder Vasudeva

Even as the Divya Jyoti Jagriti Sansthan (DJJS) continues to prepare for a “massive” congregation of its followers on December 14, the Punjab government on Monday said the deadline given to it by the Punjab and Haryana high court for the funeral of dera head Ashutosh is December 17 actually, and not December 15.

Principal secretary home Jagpal Singh Sandhu said “a certified copy of the court’s order (passed on December 1) was received on December 3 and counting 15 days from that, we will abide by the orders by December 17”.

While the “new” date gives the government two more days to prepare to execute the court’s orders, it has put the dera in a tight spot. Dera managers were earlier taking December 15 as the deadline and had planned a gathering of 70,000 followers on December 14 to show strength. “The high court pronounced the judgment on December 1 and the order was on the court’s website by the evening. But we will go by the orders received in my office, forwarded to the DC,” added Sandhu.

Jalandhar deputy commissioner KK Yadav said the administration was “ready” to implement the orders by the deadline. “Our preparations are on. We have taken all ground realities into account. We will implement the orders within the deadline. If anybody is taking the issue to the court, it is their legal right,” the DC said.

Sources said the administration was closely monitoring the situation at the dera through its CID and intelligence agencies and is waiting for the “right time” to implement the orders.

“Till date, the dera has not taken permission from us about this gathering citing it as routine. At the same time, we will not allow a law and order situation to emerge. The DJJS men are cooperating with us,” the DC said.

The move is being seen as a smart one by the government to buy time to sort out a situation which is likely to bring the government in direct clash with the dera followers over the execution of the court’s orders.

Sources said the DJJS was planning to file a review petition before a division bench of the high court.

‘Son’ challenges funeral order

Dalip Kumar Jha, who claims the body of Nurmahal dera head Ashutosh as his son, on Monday filed an appeal against the Punjab and Haryana high court single bench order of December 1 to cremate the sect leader in 15 days. Jha has challenged the December 1 order of the bench of justice MMS Bedi as “erroneous” and asked the court to set it aside. Terming the order “illegal”, he submitted that the high court order to the Punjab government to cremate Ashutosh within 15 days didn’t giving him the standard 30 days to file an appeal. “(In religious code) Sons must cremate the departed and immerse their ashes in the holy water to pay their pitra rin (ancestral debt),” Dalip Jha argues to claim the mortal remains of the Nurmahal dera head.

A division bench is likely to take up the petition later this week.