During the ‘bhog’ ceremony of its matriarch Chand Kaur on Sunday at Bhaini Sahib in Ludhiana, the international Namdhari community announced Rs 20 lakh cash reward for any information that leads to her killers. Add it to Rs 10 lakh that police have announced, the total bounty is now Rs 30 lakh.
Namdhari Darbar president HS Hanspal declared the new incentive, adding that if Punjab Police failed to solve the case, the sect would want the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to take over. “This was the fourth attack on us and even though all the previous cases remain unsolved, we hope the last would be different,” Hanspal told the gathering of more than 5,000 mourners, who had gathered from all over the world.
Condolence messages from Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) convener Arvind Kejriwal, Union home minister Rajnath Singh, and many other national leaders were read out during the bhog. AAP leader Sanjay Singh, Sangrur MP Bhagwant Mann, Punjab irrigation minister Sharanjit Singh Dhillon, Vidhan Sabha speaker Charanjit Singh Atwal, and state leader of opposition Charanjit Singh Channi were present.
The irrigation minister said Chand Kaur would be remembered for her selfless service to people and he was confident that her murderer would be caught.
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Amit Shah also sent a message, saying he was pained to know about the killing.
Union minister of science and technology Dr Harsh Vardhan, human resource development minister Smriti Irani, Punjab governor Kaptan Singh Solanki, and BJP leader Uma Bharti were others to express grief. Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar, who was expected to arrive at Bhaini Sahib, could not make it to the bhog but he also sent a message criticising the killers and expressing pain at the loss.
Chand Kaur was killed on April 4 at Bhaini Sahib in Ludhiana. Holding her parallel bhog ceremony at his Jeewan Nagar dera in Sirsa, Thakur Dalip Singh , estranged brother of Namdhari sect head Thakur Uday Singh, had asked Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal and his Haryana counterpart Khattar to help unite the faction-ridden community. Thakur Dalip Singh and Thakur Uday Singh are in a war of succession.