Controversial Dera head Piara Singh Bhaniara Wala dies at 61 : The Tribune India

Controversial Dera head Piara Singh Bhaniara Wala dies at 61

Controversial Dera head Piara Singh Bhaniara Wala dies at 61

Piara Singh had authored Bhav Sagar Samunder Granth in 2001. Image: Youtube screengrab.

Tribune News Service
Ropar, December 30

Self styled godman Baba Piara Singh Bhaniara Wala, whose 'dera' is situated at village Bhaniara near Nurpurbedi in this district passed away Monday morning, his close associates said. He was 61. 

He had thousands of followers mainly among the dalit community.

His associates said Bhaniara Wala had developed chest pain and complained of suffocation, following which he was being taken to a hospital in Mohali, but he died on the way near Kharar.

Controversial innings

A resident of Dhamiana village of Rupnagar district, Bhaniara Wala was one of the seven children of Tulsi Ram, who was the care taker of two ‘mazars’. After his death, Bhaniara Wala left his job at the horticulture department, where he worked as a peon and took over his father's work.

He subsequently proclaimed himself as ‘Baba’. Bhaniara Wala encroached upon a piece of land of the Forest Department and established a dera there. After enlisting political leaders as his followers, the most famous among them former Union Minister Buta Singh, his popularity among the masses grew. Soon, he proclaimed himself to be the incarnate of the Tenth Guru, Guru Gobind Singh.

Baba Piara Singh Bhaniara Wala

His actions evoked the then Jathedar of Akal Takht, Bhai Ranjit Singh, to ex-communicate him from the Sikh Panth in 1998. This, however, did not deter his followers. The growing strength of his followers encouraged the Baba and he authored Bhav Sagar Samunder Granth in 2001. This triggered a series of controversies and violence against his followers. They were accused of burning birs of Guru Granth Sahib in Ropar and Fatehgarh Sahib. Bhavsagar Granth was banned and several were arrested for sacrilege.

Bhaniara Wala was booked under the National Security Act and jailed for nine months after his arrest in September 2001.

While he was facing trial at an Ambala court, he was stabbed by a youth outside the court on September 24, 2003.

Several attempts were made to assassinate him at his dera following which he was provided tight security.

Bhaniara’s petitions against the ban on his book repeatedly failed to find favour with judges of the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

Bhaniarewala was keeping a low profile even though a large number of his followers used to visit him. With PTI 

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