Even as Punjab Police are yet to verify links between Damdami Taksal dera head Harnam Singh Dhuma and Dhadrianwale attackers, a dera spokesperson has claimed that ‘the arrested men and the impounded car are indeed ours’.
However, Gurdiyal Singh, spokesperson of Dhuma, told The Sunday Express, “Babaji (Dhuma) will soon clarify the entire episode. Yes, the men arrested by police and vehicles are ours. They belong to our dera but Babaji is himself probing the matter. He was completely unaware of it and has no involvement in this attack. We are also not clear of all the facts as of now, but soon Babaji will himself clarify it.”
The police however, say that are still in the process of verifying whether the vehicles were owned by the dera head. “We are still verifying the ownership of the vehicles. The dera can claim that men and vehicles are theirs but we cannot comment on it as of now. We are still in the process of verifying it, “ Balkar Singh, ADCP (crime) Ludhiana told The Sunday Express.
The Ludhiana police had impounded two vehicles — a Tata Safari and an open jeep registered in the name of ‘Baba Harnam Singh of Mehta, Amritsar’. Ironically, Sukhwinder Singh alias Sonu, one of the accused arrested Friday, is also a resident of Mehta where dera is headquartered.
Meanwhile, the police has arrested Satnam Singh of Moranwali in Faridkot and Gurpreet Singh of Daluwala in Haridwar- said to the be close confidants of Damdami Taksal chief Baba Harnam Singh Dhuma. Also, under the suspicion net are two others- Satnam Singh and Gurpreet Singh- who put up the dera in Mehta of Amritsar and stay with Dhuma 24×7. Both also carry weapons to guard the chief and are his closest confidants.
In some photographs on social media, Dhuma is seen addressing the followers with his personal sewadaar Satnam. In another photograph, the trio is captured together with Satnam and Gurpreet escorting Dhuma with weapons in their hands.
Balkar Singh ADCP crime said, “While one duo of Satnam from Faridkot and Gurpreet of Haridwar has been arrested, we are investigating the role of other Satnam and Gurpreet.” Asked about their photos on social media with Dhuma he said, “We cannot comment on the link of any suspect with Baba as of now. It is all still under investigation.”
However, when asked on whether the vehicles and the arrested persons have any link with Dhuma, he said, “It is under investigation and we cannot confirm it.”
Supporters of Taksal ‘threaten’ Dhadrianwale
High drama was witnessed at a local court in Ludhiana Saturday after four accused were produced Friday. They along with almost 30 other Taksal supporters allegedly manhandled the police and issued threats to Dhadrianwale that ‘he won’t be spared’.
“We have not done anything. Our head Dhuma is not involved in the case in any manner. We are also not involved in any attack. Damdami Taksal is being defamed. But if Dhadrianwale continues these tactics to defame and frame Taksal men, then future is not bright for him. Till now, we have not done anything but he will see what can we do,” said one of the arrested men.
Amid all this, slogans of ‘Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale zindabad’ and ‘Harnam Singh Dhuma zindabad’ echoed the court premises as the arrested men and their supporters hailed their dera head. The four men arrested Friday were sent to four days of police remand till May 24, while the remand of four others arrested Wednesday ends Sunday.
Taksal warns cops, govt; calls Dhadrianwale ‘gidhar’
Intensifying the ‘Facebook war’ from where it all allegedly started, the official page on Damdami Taksal Saturday compared Dhadrianwale to a ‘gidhar’ (jackal) and Dhuma to a babbar sher (lion). Issuing another threat to government, the post also said that ‘till now nine men of Damdami Taksal have been wrongly arrested by police and if they are falsely implicated in the case and that the SAD-BJP government will be responsible for it.’
It further said that entire dera followers are ‘standing rock solid with Dhuma and the men who have been arrested.’ “Hor lae Damdami Taksal naal pangey. Baba Dhuma sher nikaleya atey tainu ohne baagad billa bana ditta hai. Ronda reh hun andar ghurne vich vadke (sic)”, said the post threatening Dhadrianwale. (Dare you pick more fights with Damdami Taksal. Baba Dhuma proved to be a lion and you are a cat. Now keep sulking inside your cocoon).
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines