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Thursday, June 04, 2020

Punjab: HC seeks details about Nihang dera in eye of row over attack on police

The Dera is headed by one of the accused persons -- they had taken shelter at the Dera after attacking the police. The Dera complex was sealed thereafter and handed over to a committee comprising the members of a local panchayat.

Written by Sofi Ahsan | Chandigarh | Published: May 12, 2020 11:19:18 pm
Nihang dera, Haryana High court, Punjab HC, Punjab news, Indian express news The court on Monday directed the authorities to disclose the steps being taken to bring the local panchayats of Karhali and Balbehra villages to take care of the Dera and gurdwara permanently. (File)

A month after a group of people in Patiala attacked a police party and severed the hand of a cop, the Punjab and Haryana High Court on Tuesday called for reports from the authorities in Patiala regarding ownership of the land on which a gurdwara and the Nihang Dera Complex is located at Balbera village.

The Dera is headed by one of the accused persons — they had taken shelter at the Dera after attacking the police. The Dera complex was sealed thereafter and handed over to a committee comprising the members of a local panchayat. The court on Monday also directed the authorities to disclose the steps being taken to bring the local panchayats of Karhali and Balbehra villages to take care of the Dera and gurdwara permanently.

Dera head Balwinder Singh’s wife Balwinder Kaur had approached the HC last month seeking permission to enter the Dera Khichri Sahib for religious purposes. She also had said she has been residing at a relative’s house since the incident, and wants to take care of the livestock inside the Dera complex.

While directing her to produce the title deeds of the land and disclose her official status in the Dera, Justice Rajiv Narain Raina in the order also directed the Deputy Commissioner of Patiala and Senior Superintendent of the district to submit separate reports regarding the status and the measurement of the land on which the Dera and Gurdwara are stated to be constructed.

“The reports would disclose that on whose land, the Dera/Gurdwara are constructed. The jural identity of the Dera/Gurdawara be also mentioned in the reports(s) as to whether it is run by a Trust/Society etc. and is amenable to regulatory laws including ownership, possession, title and cultivation,” the order reads.

Assistant Sub-Inspector Harjeet Singh’s hand was chopped off and four others, including an official of Punjab Mandi Board, were injured when five men, belonging to Nihang sect, attacked them at a lockdown barricade in Patiala on April 12. Singh was treated at PGI and his hand was successfully reimplanted later.

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