HC notice to Punjab, Haryana on arms training at deras

Chandigarh, Dec 4:

The Punjab and Haryana High Court Thursday issued notice to both governments regarding reports that ex-servicemen were helping supporters of various sects with arms training.

Photo Courtesy: punjabupdate.com
Photo Courtesy: punjabupdate.com

The court issued the notice following a report from the army’s military intelligence directorate which stated that ex-servicemen should refrain from getting involved in arms training at the Dera Sacha Sauda sect based in Haryana’s Sirsa district.

Amicus curiae Anupam Gupta had told the high court last month that there was an army advisory issued on December 13, 2010, in which it was mentioned that ex-servicemen were giving arms training to followers of the Dera Sacha Sauda sect.

The Haryana Police and other security agencies had to fight pitched battles with armed and trained supporters, including private commandos, of self-styled godman Rampal at his Satlok Ashram complex near Barwala town in Haryana’s Hisar district last month after police went to arrest Rampal on the high court’s directions.

The Haryana Police is now investigating how Rampal and his sect acquired the weapons and the arms training.

Expressing concern, Gupta had sought judicial intervention into the matter.

The high court, while expressing serious concern about the activities of deras (sects) in Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh, admitted Gupta’s plea as a public interest litigation (PIL).

The Punjab Police and local authorities in Punjab are grappling with the Divya Jyoti Jagriti Sansthan (DJJS) sect at Nurmahal near Jalandhar after the high court directed the state government to perform the last rites of sect guru Ashutosh within 15 days.

There has been controversy over the death of Ashutosh, who headed the DJJS, after he was declared “clinically dead” by doctors Jan 29 this year.

Followers of the sect leader are adamant that Ashutosh is in “deep meditation” and have not allowed the authorities to remove his body from the deep freezer for performing the last rites.


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