The deadlock over cremation of slain Dera Sacha Sauda followers, Satpal, 65, and his son Ramesh, 35, ended on Wednesday as the bodies were consigned to flames following the intervention of director general of police (law and order) Hardeep Singh Dhillon. The bodies were cremated under tight police security at victims’ hometown Ahmedgarh, 4 km away from Jagera, where the crime was committed.
On February 25 evening, two motorcycle-borne men had gunned down Satpal and Ramesh in the canteen of dera’s congregation centre at Jagera.
The government has announced a compensation of ₹10 lakh each to wives of Satpal and Ramesh; ₹5 lakh to Diya, daughter of Ramesh and her free eye treatment, and jobs in the police department to Ramesh’s wife Madhubala and brother Mahesh Kumar.
The DGP addressed the dera followers and assured them that the police will solve the case in five days, as some vital leads were already there. The protesters then lifted the dharna from Ludhiana-Malerkotla road, which was blocked since Monday afternoon. The dera followers had intensified protests by staging a dharna in Malaut as well.
Dhillon reached the congregation centre at Jagera on Wednesday morning and met the victim family. A meeting between the DGP and six members of dera’s state political committee also took place.
Paramjit Singh, one of the members of political committee of the dera, said, “If the police did not trace the killers in five days, we will start protests again. A decision in this regard will be taken in the bhog ceremony.”
Atleast 5,000 dera followers attended the funeral procession of the deceased.
After scanning the CCTV camera footage, the police found that the assailants had come from Malerkotla side and fled towards Ludhiana after committing the crime. The footage of the camera inside the canteen shows the assailants uttering some words, staring at the camera. One of them can also be seen firing in the air before leaving.
Satpal and Ramesh used to run canteen at the congregation centre. A murder case was registered at Malaudh.
Differences over cremation
Even as majority of the dera followers agreed to cremate the bodies, there were some who not satisfied with the decision. When DGP (law and order) Hardeep Singh Dhillon was addressing the followers outside the congregation centre, a couple of premis started shouting slogans against the police and even threatened self-immolation if the bodies were moved. The matter was resolved after they were taken inside a room by the fellow premis.
What will victim family get
₹10 lakh each to wives of Satpal and Ramesh
₹5 lakh to Diya, daughter of Ramesh, and her free eye treatment
Jobs to Ramesh’s wife Madhubala and brother Mahesh Kumar in the police department.