Back after 13 yers, dera ‘orphan’ not at home with his family
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Back after 13 yers, dera ‘orphan’ not at home with his family

Family has no clue about his 24-yr-old sister who was also handed over to dera orphanage

punjab Updated: Sep 07, 2017 13:19 IST
Dera,Dera Sacha Sauda,Kapil Kumar
Kapil was among 34 youths brought from the dera’s Asra Ashram to a Karnal orphanage. (HT File)

Kapil Kumar was nine when his family ‘surrendered’ him and his 11-year-old sister to the Sirsa-based Dera Sacha Sauda orphanage nearly 13 years ago. Now, Harshdeep (as he was renamed at the dera like many other inmates), is facing difficulty reuniting with his family after he was brought back to his parental home at Tyori village of Kurukshetra district in the wake of the violence after dera head Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh was jailed on August 25.

Also, the 22-year-old has been insisting to go back to the dera to complete his graduation. He was among 34 youths brought from the dera’s Asra Ashram to a Karnal orphanage.

But the family, comprising his grandparents (his father is mentally disturbed and his whereabouts are not known and his mother is dead), has no clue about his sister Kajal (now 24).

“We were told that Kajal’s name has been changed as Guruvansh but we were not allowed to meet her after several attempts. They told us that she has completed B.Com. Now, since the police and army have taken control of the dera, we are worried about Kajal,” said Raghubir Singh, Harshdeep’s grandfather.

Ragubir said his wife was a dera follower and she surrendered the two kids to the dera after their mother’s death 13 years ago. His son Raj Kumar got mentally disturbed and has been missing for several years, he said.

“Harshdeep’s family owns two acres of land and a house in the village. Now, they will face problem transferring the land to him since his name has been changed even in his Aadhaar card and certificates. We do not have any document to prove that he is Kapil,” said another member in the extended family.

Despite the dera head’s conviction, the family was not ready to hear anything against him, claiming that he will be out of jail soon. Harshdeep claims to have met Kajal at the dera several times and has told the family that she is in safe hands.

Officials of the Karnal child welfare committee are facing difficulty in tracing the families of 17 of the 34 they brought from the dera orphanage.

An official said the dera violated the norms by getting agreements from the families that they will not be allowed to meet their children. Besides, the dera also got undertakings from the families that the dera will not be responsible if any mishap occurs with their kids and they will not file any complaint against the orphanage.

First Published: Sep 07, 2017 13:19 IST