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Haryana CM, Cong ministers at Nurmahal dera function 

Jalandhar, November 25

A number of politicians, including Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar, today visited Divya Jyoti Jagriti Sansthan at Nurmahal for a spiritual programme. Hundreds of Ashutosh Maharaj’s followers and disciples took part in the “Naval Bhor Samaroh”.

The programme was held amid tight security with over 700 cops deputed to guard the premises.

Besides Khattar, those present included Congress leader Preneet Kaur, Cabinet ministers Brahm Mohindra and Sunder Sham Arora, Jalandhar MP Santokh Chaudhary, Amritsar MP Gurjit Singh Aujla, Deputy Speaker Ajaib Singh Bhatti, Union Minister Vijay Sampla, former state BJP chief Kamal Sharma and former Hoshiarpur MP Santosh Chaudhary. 

The dera had courted controversy after its head Ashutosh Maharaj was declared clinically dead on January 28, 2014. His followers, while insisting that he is in a samadhi and will come back, have preserved his body in a freezer at the dera since then.

On July 5, 2017, the Punjab and Haryana High Court allowed the dera to preserve the body, setting aside a court judgment asking the state to carry out the last rites of Ashutosh. The controversy has not affected the popularity of the 100-acre ashram, which continues to be one of the prominent deras in the state in terms of following.

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