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Stand-off in Punjab: Followers of 'godman in freezer' refuse to cremate him

December 04, 2014 17:00 IST
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In scenes reminiscent of Godman Rampal’s ashram, heavy police was deployed outside an ashram in Nurmahal in Punjab’s Jalandhar district as followers of godman Ashutosh Maharaj are refusing to cremate him.

Around 600 of the godman’s followers are standing guard outside the dera of Divya Jyoti Jagriti Sansthan protecting their leader, who they claim is not dead but meditating in the freezer. He has been in such a condition for the past 306 days.

On January 29 this year, doctors had said that Maharaj was “clinically dead.” His followers have since then not allowed anyone to inspect the body, which is kept in the freezer at the ashram.

A dera spokesperson said they would appeal against the high court’s order this week to cremate the body within 15 days.

The police have reported that there has been an increase of followers at the ashram and that they are planning how best to implement the high court’s order to cremate the body within 15 days without a repeat of the violence that took place at the Rampal ashram in Haryana.

They reported that on Tuesday, the DJJS followers had put up two barricades and would not allow outsiders to enter the dera premises. A watchtower had also been built and CCTV cameras installed.

Rampal's followers had clashed with the police, which had to storm the 12-acre ashram to arrest the controversial guru. Five women and an infant died during the stand off. 

Image: Followers of Ashutosh Maharaj claim he is not dead but in 'deep meditation' even though he has been in a freezer for 306 days. 

READ: India's 10 most CONTROVERSIAL gurus

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