THE NAMDHARI dera headquarters at Bhaini Sahib Tuesday turned into a fortress for the cremation of Chand Kaur, 88, wife of former head of Namdhari sect, who was shot dead by two assailants Monday.
What stood out, however, were a number of sewadaars of the sect accompanying the policemen.
Nearly 10 barricades were in place, from the entrance till the headquarters building, with at least 2-3 sewadaars tagging with each police team. Only the main entrance was opened for visitors while the others remained locked.
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The reason was to ensure that the estranged nephew of Satguru late Jagjit Singh, Thakur Dalip Singh, who heads the feuding faction of the dera, does not attend the cremation.
Thakur Dalip Singh has stayed from the dera since long over a succession row. There has been a clamour for his arrest after Chand Kaur’s murder.
Speaking to The Indian Express, a sewadaar said, “Police might not be able to recognise Dalip Singh or his men. So we were assigned the job to intimate the police if he is spotted anywhere. Though our sources said he had no plans to attend the cremation, we wanted to be prepared nonetheless.”
Lakhveer Singh, spokesperson of Namdhari Dera Bhaini Sahib, said, “We wanted no law and order situation. Thakur Dalip Singh has not entered the dera for years. Had he chosen to come today, a clash would have been inevitable. Police was therefore on alert.”
Ludhiana police commissioner JS Aulakh said sewadaars were assisting his force to identify ‘outsiders’.
“Our force does not recognise Namdhari VIPs and saints who were to be allowed inside. They were also helping us in identifying outsiders and streamlining traffic,” he said.