Even as the December 15 deadline fixed by the Punjab and Haryana high court for performing the last rites of “clinically dead” Divya Jyoti Jagriti Sansthan (DJJS) head Ashutosh is fast approaching, the district administration is yet to get access to his body.
Sources in the dera said the body that had been lying in a freezer for the past more than 10 months is in the possession of the DJJS men, while the Punjab police personnel deployed inside the dera were doing their duty away from the enclosure where the body had been kept.
Nakodar deputy superintendent of police (DSP) Satish Malhotra said around 20 cops had been deployed inside the dera.
Sources said Jalandhar deputy commissioner KK Yadav, Jalandhar rural SSP Narinder Bhargav and Phillaur SDM Jasvir Singh went inside the dera on December 1 evening after the court delivered the verdict but they didn’t see the body.
Even the intelligence and the Punjab Police CID men deployed on the dera are “clueless” about the state of the body.
“Only a handful of the DJJS men are aware where the body has been kept in the freezer. The three-tier security of dera men is guarding the place inside, which no cop has access to,” said a policeman.
Meanwhile, the district administration is mum on the issue. The deputy commissioner did not take the phone calls and the Jalandhar rural SSP said he was not the right person to comment.
The administration is also silent over the proposed move of the DJJS to hold a congregation of around 70,000 followers on December 14, a day before the court deadline to implement the order.
The administration going slow in the case is being seen as the Punjab government’s strategy to give the dera ample time to take a legal remedy to avoid any tussle during the implementation of the order.
Also, the official machinery is busy making preparations for the grand ceremony of World Cup Kabaddi scheduled for Saturday evening.
“No official has told us not to hold this congregation as we have informed them that it’s a routine exercise. The dera activities must go on as earlier. The congregation is nothing new as being portrayed in the media. Devotees gather at the ashram for spiritual nourishment in routine,” said dera spokesman Swami Vishalananda.
He said the DJJS was preparing a plea to be filed before the division bench of the Punjab and Haryana high court shortly. “Our legal cell is taking care of all such things and I think the division bench plea would be filed in the court by Monday,” said the spokesman.
Dera ‘warns’ media
A press release issued by the DJJS on Friday evening warned the media that they should report the news in perspective or face legal action.
“The news being flashed about the mighty task force in the dera is mere imaginary. Everybody is doing their regular duty and nothing new has been introduced. Only regular sewadars are continuing with their duties,” the release says.