With the Punjab and Haryana high court to pronounce judgment in the controversial death case of Divya Jyoti Jagriti Sansthan (DJJS) head Ashutosh Maharaj on Monday, security has been beefed up in and around the dera where the “clinical dead” godman has been kept in a deep freezer for the past 10 months.
The dera management has been claiming since that Ashutosh is in samadhi (deep mediation). Sources said security personnel have been deployed at various sensitive points in civvies. The number of followers at the dera has been low for the past few weeks. Keeping in mind the sensitivity of the case and also the recent controversy around Rampal, the Hisar-based controversial godman, the police want to leave no stone unturned in its preparations to deal with the situation arising after the verdict.
“We have deployed extra personnel as part of the security arrangements,” said Nakodar deputy superintendent of police Satish Malhotra. Sources said the police have also taken an undertaking from the DJJS management about the number of persons staying permanently at the dera.
“An alert has been sounded in Jalandhar with forces from other districts also coming in to assist the local policemen. Presence of less security men in uniform has been done on the DJJS management’s request,” a police official said. Special nakas have been set up at all entry points to Nurmahal, with police keeping tabs on the movement of Ashutosh’s followers towards the dera.
The private security at the dera is also keeping a strict vigil on the visitors and the movement of Punjab police with more than 30 CCTV cameras installed on different points at the dera.
Dalip Kumar Jha, the petitioner in the case and who claims to be Ashutosh’s son, had moved the high court in April seeking release of the dera head’s body to perform his funeral rites besides seeking inquiry into his death.
On January 29, reports emerged that Ashutosh had died. The dera management, however, claimed that these were mere rumours. A team of doctors from the Satgur Partap Singh Apollo Hospital in Ludhiana examined Ashutosh and declared him clinically dead.