The followers of the Dera Sacha Sauda outfit on Sunday demanded a judicial inquiry into the killing of a sect follower at the New Nabha prison in Punjab, PTI reported. Mohinder Pal Bittu was the main accused in several sacrilege cases, including the one that took place at Burj Jawahar Singh Wala and Bargari in 2015.

Bittu was allegedly attacked by two inmates on Saturday evening with an iron rod. Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh had ordered an inquiry into the murder.

Bittu’s body was brought to his native town Kotkapura, where a large number of Dera Sacha Sauda followers gathered since Sunday morning. The outfit’s management demanded a judicial probe into Bittu’s murder, Hindustan Times reported.

“Bittu’s name was wrongly associated with desecration of holy scriptures of Sikhs,” said Harcharan Singh, a constituent of the Dera’s 45-member executive committee. “It is against the tenants of the Dera to speak against any religion, including Sikhism. The deceased was known for his social activities in the region and he was made a scapegoat under a conspiracy.”

An unidentified member of the Dera Sacha Sauda outfit on Sunday said Bittu’s body will not be cremated until those who planned the attack are identified and punished, PTI reported. “How did Bittu, who was lodged in a separate cell, come out in the open and was attacked.”

Bittu’s son alleged a conspiracy behind the murder, according to PTI. “His name was dragged into this [sacrilege] case, we want justice,” Bittu’s son said.

Security was intensified across the state. Paramilitary forces and state police force were deployed in Kotkapura. Police also conducted flag marches in Moga and Faridkot districts to ensure law and order is maintained.

The two attackers – Maninder Singh and Gursewak Singh – were produced before a court on Sunday and sent to four-day police custody. Four officials from the Nabha jail in Patiala – the jail superintendent, assistant superintendent and two wardens – have been suspended.

Meanwhile, Sukhpreet Budda, a gangster, claimed responsibility for the attack on Bittu in a Facebook post, saying the two inmates were members of his group. An unidentified senior police official in Moga said the cyber cell of the police have been asked to investigate the claims posted by Budda.

Shiromani Akali Dal President Sukhbir Singh Badal demanded an inquiry. Akali Dal leader Balwinder Singh Bhunder said: “If this is the state of jails in Punjab, then one can imagine law and order situation in the state.”