Jaghera (Pb): Dera Sacha Sauda followers today agreed to cremate the bodies of the two members of their sect who were shot dead last week and lift the blockade on the Ludhiana-Malerkotla road. Their decision to quell the protest came after assurance by state authorities for two government jobs and ex-gratia of Rs 10 lakh for the family members of the deceased father-son duo. The Punjab Police’s assurance that they would soon nab the culprits of the double murder also pacified the protestors who had refused to cremate the bodies of Satpal (65) and his son Ramesh Kumar (35) since their killing on Saturday last. “They (Dera followers) have agreed to cremate the bodies today,” Director General of Punjab Police (Law and Order) Hardeep Dhillon said. The deadlock over the cremation of bodies came to an end after the DGP held a meeting with the representatives of the state committee of the Dera here.
Several Dera followers had blocked the Ludhiana-Malerkotla route and put up a tent in the middle of the road, though traffic was diverted by the administration. The DGP said, “The family of the deceased will be given two government jobs. Besides, Rs 10 lakh each will be given to two members of the victim’s family. “Moreover, Rs 5 lakh will be given as fixed deposit in the name of the daughter of Ramesh and expenses related to her eye injury will also be borne by the state authorities.” Meanwhile, DIG, Ludhiana range, S K Kalia said the killers would be arrested as early as possible. Yesterday, a special investigation team led by Kalia was formed to solve the murder case. Two unidentified bike-borne gunmen had killed Satpal and his son Ramesh when they were working at Dera’s canteen around 7 PM on February 25 at Jagera village, about 55 km from Ludhiana.
They were shot in their heads with a .32 bore weapon, the police said. However, Harinder Insan, member of the state level committee of the Dera claimed that Punjab police assured them to arrest the assailants within five days. “We have been assured by the senior officials of Punjab Police in the meeting that the killers of Satpal and Ramesh will be arrested within five days,” said Harinder. He added, “The bodies will be taken to Ahmedgarh, about five km from Jaghera, where the cremation will take place.” A CCTV footage procured by the police showed that the assailants who had come on a bike were wearing caps and their faces were covered. Sirsa-based Dera Sacha Sauda sect head Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh had strongly condemned the killing of two Dera followers and had demanded from the government to arrest those who were behind the gruesome murder. PTI
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