The tension over the murder of Namdhari matriarch Chand Kaur has now spilled over from Punjab to Haryana, where the dera of her nephew, Thakur Dalip Singh, is going to hold a parallel ‘bhog’ on Saturday, a day before the rivals at Bhaini Sahib.
In an attempt to prevent the ceremony, the supporters of sect head Satguru Uday Singh, Dalip’s brother and rival in the war of succession, gathered in Sirsa on Friday and asked deputy commissioner Sharandeep Kaur Brar to stay it.
They said in the memorandum to the DC that the bhog (memorial service) at Thakur Dalip Singh’s Jeewan Nagar gurdwara in Sirsa would violate their rituals and traditions, and if it was allowed, there could be a law-and-order problem in the town. Former district Congress president Malkeet Singh Khosa, who led the delegation, conveyed to the Sirsa administration that the sect had proposed to hold the ‘bhog and Antim Ardas’ on Sunday at Bhaini Sahib in Punjab’s Ludhiana district, where Chand Kaur was shot dead.
The delegation claimed that most of the media reports pointed to the involvement of Thakur Dalip Singh in the murder, so it would be inappropriate if he was allowed to hold a prayer meeting for the victim. Besides Khosa, the Namdhari delegation included Harmeet Singh, Dhyan Singh, Puran Singh Kariwla, Gurucharan Singh Dera Mastangarh, and Dhyan Singh Bhinder. On April 4, Chand Kaur, wife of late former Namdhari sect head Satguru Jagjit Singh, was killed by one of the two intruders at Bhaini Sahib gurdwara complex, 30 kilometres from Ludhiana.
Section 144 imposed
On Friday evening, the DC imposed Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) at Jeewan Nagar to prohibit any unlawful assembly in the area till Sunday (April 10). “We have requested people to maintain law and order in the area. We’ll not interfere in their matter but to maintain peace, all community protests, public addresses; gatherings of five or more people, and carrying weapons and flammable substances are now banned in Jeewan Nagar, Dera Mastangarh Rania, and Ellenabad subdivision,” said the DC.
On Saturday and Sunday, even loudspeaker is banned in the area.