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Dera violence: Man travels 12 hours, borrows money to take home corpse of his younger brother

Death toll increases to 33 ; six bodies lies unclaimed

punjab Updated: Aug 29, 2017 13:48 IST
Tanbir Dhaliwal
Tanbir Dhaliwal
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Ram Rahim,Ram Rahim rape verdict,Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh
Samar Pal’s search ended on August 28 at the mortuary of Civil Hospital, Panchkula.(HT Photo)

Without a single penny in his pocket, Samar Pal travelled over 400 kms for 12 hours to search for his younger brother, who was missing since Saturday. His search ended on Monday at the mortuary of Civil Hospital, Panchkula.

Chander Pal, 35, from Dhimari Block, Uttrakhand is the 27th and the last body of Dera Sacha Sauda followers, identified and handed over to the family by the Haryana Police on Monday.

Six bodies are still lying unclaimed, and these will be cremated by the authorities if no one comes forward to claim them.

Chander Pal hails from a small village with a population of 2000, of whom only 15-20 are followers of the dera.

Pal became a follower around eight years ago. When announcements were being made about the arrival of Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, Pal left with other villagers for Panchkula. Before leaving, he did not inform anyone except his wife.

No one stopped him but the family panicked when he did not return along with other villagers.

“I came back home late night on Friday, so I did not enquire about him. But the next day, my children told me that “chachu” had not come,” said Samar Pal. “Had I known he was leaving for such a gathering, I would have taken away all money from him and not allowed him to leave at all.”

While he was beginning to fret about his brother, the local police got a call from Uttarakhand SSP, saying that two youths from Dhimari village were in Panchkula hospitals.

Police contacted the village head Makhan Lal, who traced the two families. “I made announcements in the village and gathered all those families, who had been to Panchkula,” says Makhan Lal, who accompanied Samar Pal to Panchkula.

While one of the families refused to visit Panchkula fearing arrest, Samar Pal decided to accompany the police and the head to get his brother back.

Their 12-hour-long journey started at 3pm on Sunday and they reached Panchkula at 3am on Monday. “While I was on my way, Police called me up and asked if my brother was wearing a blue colour underwear? I said I don’t know. But I knew something was wrong, for they would not have asked me this question,” says Samar Pal, who hasn’t eaten a morsel for the last one day.

His worst fear came true fear when he was directly taken to the mortuary. The body with number 300 written on its head was that of his younger brother.

According to a police officer, he died of a bullet injury in his chest. However, the hospital employee had written, “Bhagdarh mein chot lagne se maut” (death because of injuries) as a reason in the medical report.

Samar Pal was so blinded by tears on seeing his younger brother’s body that he could not see the bullet injury. “Mere se dekha nahi gya use, main bahar aa gya,” he told one of his elders who called him from Uttarakhand.


“He was like my child. I left my studies so that he could study further. Who will look after his wife and two children,” he questioned.

Chander Pal is survived by wife Sunita (26) and two children Upkar (6) and Deepak (4).

They belong to a very poor family who don’t even have a pucca house. Both the brothers used to work on a contract basis in private factories and earn a measly Rs 6,000 per month.

Together they used to take care of eight members of the family. But now the entire burden will fall on Samar Pal, who will also have to arrange Rs 35,000 for the cremation of his brother. “I will borrow money in small amounts from villagers and relatives and will cremate my brother’s body,” he said.

While he left with the body at 5:45pm on Monday, villagers back home had started collecting Rs 5,000 for Ambulance.

They reached at 6am and were surrounded by villagers to know the cause of death. At 9am, Samar Pal, cremated his younger brother.

Toll rises to 33; six unclaimed bodies at mortuary

One more dera follower breathed his last at PGIMER on Monday, increasing the death toll to 33. The patient identified as Jagdish was critical for several days. His post-mortem will be conducted at PGIMER and the body will be send back to Civil hospital, Panchkula.

“As per rules, hospital can keep a body till 72 hours, which in this case got over on Monday night,” says Dr Sunil Gambhir, forensic expert, Civil Hospital, Panchkula. He said that in this case they will extend the deadline to Tuesday night.

“We are hopeful that other families will also come forward to claim the bodies. In case no one comes forward by tomorrow, we will hold a meeting with the administration and take a decision,” he said.

First Published: Aug 29, 2017 13:42 IST