With only five days to go before the deadline for the execution of the high court’s orders ends, security has been beefed up at the Divya Jyoti Jagrati Sansthan (DJJS) here.
Police are expecting a huge rush of followers at the dera on December 14, a day before the division bench of the Punjab and Haryana high court takes up a petition filed in the case against the court’s earlier single bench verdict to cremate dera head Ashutosh within 15 days.
Arrangements in place
Anticipating a possible threat to the law and order situation, the district administration has made elaborate security arrangements. Police have deployed video camera mobile vans at different places in the DJJS headquarters.
Even though top police officials refrained from disclosing details of the preparations for the event, sources said police would be video-graphing the event which will be monitored by senior officials.
Anti-riots vehicles have also been deployed outside the DJJS premises and more than 300 extra police officials will guard the dera.
A senior district official revealed that on the day of the bhandara (religious congregation), DJJS has been asked to vacate the venue before 5pm to ensure that followers do not stay overnight at the premises.
Jalandhar deputy commissioner KK Yadav confirmed that security had been beefed up at the dera.
Ashutosh to return, claims video
In a bid to bring followers to the dera on December 14, a three-minute video clip of Ashutosh, titled Iss Mahakranti ka Mahanayak (The superhero of the revolution), has gone viral.
The video clip shows previous dera gatherings with heavy attendance.
DJSS spokesman Swami Vishalanand claimed that the bhandara on December 14 was a routine affair and it was the media which was generating unnecessary hype.
Dera’s centre in Tarn Taran sealed
The district administration sealed the Divya Jyoti Jagrati Sansthan centre running from Tarn Taran, on Friday.
The step was taken as a precautionary measure as Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh had, on Thursday, demanded the closure of the centre.
This is the main dera of the Nurmahal-based sect in the Majha region. In the past, the dera had been witness to clashes between Sikhs and followers of the DJJS sect.
Most of the religious congregations of the sect have been held at this centre.
“Yes we shut down the dera as a precautionary measure to maintain peace,” said SSP Manmohan Sharma.
Cong spokesperson supports DJJS
Meanwhile, DJJS’s strategy to garner support from political parties has started yielding results.
After some local Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders said Ashutosh’s samadhi should not be disturbed, the Congress has now jumped in the fray.
In a statement issued on Friday, Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) spokesperson Nimisha Mehta said the state government should consider public sentiments and present the same before the court.
Mehta said since the DJJS had a large following across the globe and in Punjab, the state government should put up correct intelligence inputs in front of the court to avoid clash-like situations in the state.