Frozen godman Ashutosh's followers dig in their heels after court orders cremation

Supporters of 'godman' Ashutosh have started fortifying the ashram in a bid to prevent authorities from cremating the godman whose body has been lying on ice for 306 days.

The Times of India reported that supporters have built up a task force to prevent authorities, particularly journalists, from entering Divya Jyoti Jagriti Sansthan (DJJS), after the Punjab and Haryana High Court ordered that the godman's body be cremated within 15 days.

Ashutosh

Baba Ashutosh. Picture courtesy: DJJS website

"On Tuesday, they made three police officers who tried to penetrate Maharaj's dera in Nurmahal look helpless. The stretch of a few hundred metres towards dera main gate has CCTV cameras installed and is buzzing with DJJS task force with wireless sets," TOI reported.

The task force is also checking vehicles that are going in and out of the dera.

The controversy over the death of sect guru Ashutosh was resurrected on Monday after the Punjab and Haryana High Court directed the Punjab government to perform his last rites within 15 days.

Ashutosh, who headed the Divya Jyoti Jagriti Sansthan (DJJS) sect with its headquarters at Nurmahal near Jalandhar, was declared "clinically dead" by doctors on 29 January this year.

However, the sect management kept his body in a deep freezer claiming that the sect leader had gone into "samadhi" (deep meditation). No one was allowed to take the body for examination nor any last rites were performed.

The matter was taken to the high court by Dalip Kumar Jha, who claimed to be son of Ashutosh alias Mahesh Kumar Jha, in April this year, seeking that he be given the mortal remains of his father.

Another petitioner, Puran Singh, who claimed to be the sect leader's former driver, had also approached the high court, seeking a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the death of Ashutosh.

In its order, the court directed that a committee be constituted under the district magistrate to work out the performing of last rites of the sect leader.

The Punjab director general of police (DGP) and chief secretary were asked by the high court to monitor the situation.

The sect has properties and assets running into hundreds of crores and there are reports that say the mystery of Ashutosh's death is related to the control of these properties.

With inputs from IANS


Updated Date: Dec 03, 2014 18:11 PM

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