Even as the Punjab and Haryana high court has asked the Punjab government and the Nurmahal-based Divya Jyoti Jagriti Sansthan (DJJS) to find out an amicable solution to the last rites of dera head Ashutosh, no consensus has been reached so far.
The Punjab government on Friday told the high court that eight meetings were held between DJJS members and administration, but minutes of meetings produced before the court show that followers were not ready to budge.
“Ashutosh Maharajji is solely dera followers’ property and they have the right, as per law, to dispose it of, possess it and exclude everyone else from interfering with it,” the members, who participated in the meeting with authorities, said.
The DJJS also told the authorities that artificial refrigeration was the best option and the mortal remains were being examined by doctors at regular intervals.
The government told the court that a team of doctors was sent to examine the body to find out whether it could be preserved for such a long time. However, the expert committee report would be shared on the next date of hearing on November 9.
In December 2014, a high court bench had declared Ashutosh “clinically dead” and had directed the Punjab government to cremate his body within 15 days. The order was later stayed by a division bench following appeals from the government, DJJS and one Dalip Kumar Jha, who claims to be son of sect head.
He was declared clinically dead by doctors on January 29, 2016, and since then, his mortal remains are lying in a deep-freezer on the dera premises. The followers claim that the spiritual head had gone into ‘samadhi’ (deep meditation) and would come out one day. HTC