13-yr-old victim’s family shocked as fellow Dera Sacha Sauda ‘premis’ booked for Maur blasts
Ankush (13) had died during treatment at a Ludhiana hospital two months after the blasts on January 31, 2017 that left seven dead, including five children, and 12 injured.
With police registering a case against two Dera Sacha Sauda followers in connection with the twin bomb blasts at Maur, the family members of one of the deceased child, also staunch devotees of the sect, are shocked by the possibility of their fellow devotees executing the crime.
Ankush (13) had died during treatment at a Ludhiana hospital two months after the blasts on January 31, 2017 that left seven dead, including five children, and 12 injured. The explosions took place shortly after the rally of Harminder Singh Jassi, the Congress candidate from the Maur assembly segment.
Ankush’s father Gyan Chand said, “The revelation that our child became victim of blasts orchestrated by some persons from within the dera has shaken us. We are dera followers for the past 15 years. It is indeed shocking to us to know that the police have found a link between some dera men and the blasts.”
‘Some wrong people infiltrated dera’
“We still are dera followers. I think that some wrong people, who had infiltrated into the dera, might have executed the blasts. The police should arrest the real culprits involved in the blasts,” he said. The police on Friday had named Gurtej Singh Kala of Alika village near Dabwali in Haryana and Amrik Singh of Bhikhi in Punjab’s Mansa in connection with the blasts.
The two have been booked after police produced four persons as witnesses in the case in a Talwandi Sabo court on Thursday. A case against unidentified persons was lodged at the Maur police station in this regard.
Kala was in-charge of the dera workshop where the Maruti Suzuki 800 car used in the blasts was allegedly modified. The four witnesses were working as fitters and painters in the workshop. Both Gurtej and Amrik are considered in the close circle of jailed rape convict dera head Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh. Witnesses have also named a third person who has not yet been named in the case due to lack of evidence.
Security beefed up for 4 witnesses
The Punjab Police are learnt to have asked their counterparts in Haryana and Rajasthan to beef up the security of four witnesses — Harpreet Singh and Sunil Kumar of Sirsa, Krishan Kumar of Karnal and Harmel Singh of Rajasthan’s Sri Ganganagar district — who appeared in the Talwandi Sabo court. An official associated with the investigation said the SHOs concerned have been requested to take care of their security. “However, guards have not been attached with them yet to avoid focus on them,” he said.
2 victim’s families blessed with babies
A year after the blasts, the families of two of the children, who died in the blasts, have been blessed with babies. Ankush’s parents have been blessed with a daughter recently. Also, the family of Ripandeep Singh, who died at the age of 10, was blessed with a son on Tuesday.