Jalandhar, Dec 4: As the curious case of the Divya Jyoti Jagriti Sansthan (DJJS) founder and dera head Ashutosh Maharaj has again hit the headlines over the ongoing controversy, his son Dalip Jha on Thursday, Dec 4 said that his father deserves last rites.
While talking to a news channel, Dalip claimed that Baba's followers are eyeing his assets over his sprawling ashram, spread over 100 acres in Nurmahal village in Jalandhar district of Punjab. [Dead or alive: The curious case of Ashutosh Ji Maharaj]
Godman, who was in his 70s was declared clinically dead on January 29 this year, but his followers refused to perform his cremation by claiming that the Baba is in "deep transcendental meditation".
His defiant supporters have even blocked entry into the ashram.
Ashutosh's followers defy court orders
On Monday, Dec 1, the Punjab and Haryana High Court had directed the Punjab government to cremate the body of religious preacher Ashutosh Maharaj within 15 days.
On Tuesday, nearly 600 of his supporters fortified the ashram.
Punjab Human Rights Organization and Khalra Mission Organization have also demanded that Ashutosh Maharaj should be cremated in Bihar.
Baba's death news delayed over succession row?
In February, when his body turned greenish, the dera members arranged the freezer, apprehending that the body might start decaying and it needed to be preserved.
HC has directed the Punjab govt to cremate Ashutosh's body within 15 days.
Earlier there were reports that the DJJS was delaying to break the news of Ashutosh's death due to the 'succession row' and dera's properties are said to be worth over Rs 1,000 crores.
Dera has 110 centres in India and abroad and it owns properties worth about Rs 1,500 crore.
Baba's son struggling to cremate his father since February
In February, Ashutosh's son Dalip Jha came to Punjab, from his native place Lakanur in Madhubani district in Bihar, to claim his father's body for cremation as per Hindu rites.
Ashutosh Maharaj was born as Mahesh Jha, who hailed from Madhubani district of Bihar. He left his home in 1970, leaving behind his wife Anandi Devi and a month old baby boy.
He founded DJJS in 1983 and had his spiritual centres across the world.