With a week to go before the Punjab and Haryana high court’s deadline of December 17 to the Punjab government to perform the last rites of Nurmahal-based dera Divya Jyoti Jagriti Sansthan (DJJS) head Ashutosh ends, the dera has started a toll-free number and also gone active on social media, including Twitter. The dera is appealing to the public to give a missed call on the toll-free number (07878180025) to support the samadhi of their leader.
Dera head Ashutosh was declared clinically dead by doctors on January 29 and his body has since been kept in freezer. This is for the first time that the DJJS has publically expressed its desire to preserve the body in the form of a Samadhi.
The DJJS is also using the social media to spread the message and gather support for its initiative and the link carrying the number has received many hits on the internet. Twitter is also being used to spread the number and gather support.
The dera has also published posters of this campaign and has called it a “Call to preserve Samadhi, Culture, and Humanity. To support Ashutosh Maharaj’s Samadhi give a missed call on 07878180025”.
When once gives a missed call to the number, this message is received, “DJJS acknowledges your support for the preservation of Ashutosh’s pious body in Samadhi.”
Dera spokesperson Swami Vishalananda, who re-tweeted this message posted on social networking site Twitter, said the message was originally posted by a Bangalore resident, Sahil Makkar.
“We did not start this campaign. An organisation from Delhi created this toll-free number. I came to know about this only in the afternoon. Now, we have taken upon ourselves to endorse and promote this number. In only a few hours, more than 5 lakh calls have been received,” he said.
Preachers with the DJJS are also carrying out meetings with political parties, seeking support for the samadhi claims.
There were reports that one such meeting was conducted in which local BJP leaders, including former party councillor Kamal Sharma, extended their support for the DJJS. “The Punjab government should not go ahead with performing the last rites,” said Sharma. However, BJP district president Subhash Sood said the party disowned such comments. “The party has nothing to do with the issue,” said Sood.
Few Valmiki leaders, who claim them to be from the Sant Samaj also carried out a press conference in support of DJJS in Jalandhar on Thursday. They even dared the Punjab police to enter the dear to perform the last rites of Ashutosh.
Sources said Jalandhar deputy commissioner KK Yadav was called for a meeting in this regard in Chandigarh. The DC, however, maintained that preparations to execute the high court orders were almost complete.