Akhada Parishad Head Narendra Giri Found Dead; FIR Lodged Against Disciple
The police said that an initial investigation has led to the discovery of a suicide note, which is being probed.
(If you are suicidal or know anyone in distress, reach out to the numbers of local emergency services, helplines, and mental health NGOs here.)
Mahant Narendra Giri, the head of Akhil Bharatiya Akhada Parishad (ABAP), was found dead at his residence in Uttar Pradesh's Prayagraj on Monday, 20 September. The police said that an initial investigation has led to the discovery of a suicide note, which was being probed.
The 72-year-old seer, who headed one of the largest bodies of Hindu saints in the country, was found deceased at his Baghambari Math residence.
An FIR has now been lodged against the seer's disciple Anand Giri at Georgetown police station in Prayagraj. The disciple, who has been mentioned in the alleged suicide note, has been detained and is being brought to Prayagraj for interrogation, ADG law and order Prashant Kumar said.
The chief priest of the Bade Hanuman temple, Adya Prasad Tiwari and his son Sandeep Tiwari have also been detained and interrogated by the police.
"We will take action based on the findings of post-mortem report and investigation," the police said.
Culprit Won't be Spared: CM Adityanath
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath visited Prayagraj on Tuesday, 21 September, morning to pay his last respects to the late seer.
"The postmortem will be done tomorrow (Wednesday, 22 September). The culprit will not be spared," CM Adityanath said, according to ANI.
Deputy CM Keshav Prasad Maurya also paid his last respects to the seer and said that a CBI probe will be ordered in the case if required, according to India Today.
Meanwhile, all 13 Akhil Bharatiya Akhada Parishad (ABAP) heads will be present in Prayagraj to pay their last respects as well, reported News18. They will meet to demand an investigation as well as to discuss the nomination of a new head of the Akhada.
'Big Conspiracy': Disciple Named in Alleged Suicide Note
"When it was time for his disciples to leave in the evening, they found the door was locked from inside. When the disciples broke the door and looked inside, his dead body was hanging from a nylon rope. A suicide note has also been found in which he has written about the torture of Anand Giri," ADG law and order Prashant Kumar has stated.
A forensic team and a special team has reached the site to conduct further investigation into the death, news agency ANI reported.
Giri, the disciple mentioned in the alleged suicide note, was quoted as saying, "It's a big conspiracy by people who used to extort money from Guruji and wrote my name in the letter. It needs to be investigated as guru ji hasn't written a letter in his life and couldn't do any suicide, his handwriting needs to be probed."
He added that he had not committed theft and urged the government to investigate the matter.
PM Modi Condoles Giri's Death; Mahant Raju Das, AAP MP Sanjay Singh Demand Inquiry
Prime Minister Narendra offered his condolences over the death of the ABAP president.
"The death of Akhara Parishad President Shri Narendra Giri ji is extremely saddening. While devoted to spiritual traditions, he played a big role in connecting many streams of Sant Samaj together. May the Lord grant him a place at his feet. Om Shanti," he stated in a tweet.
"The demise of president of Akhil Bharatiya Akhada Parishad, Mahant Narendra Giri is an irreparable loss for the spiritual world. I pray to Lord Ram to provide his spirit a place at his feet and give strength to his followers to bear this pain," UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said in a tweet in Hindi.
A number of other political leaders, including former UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and BJP chief JP Nadda, also tweeted their condolences.
Mahant Raju Das, in a statement released following Giri's death, has urged CM Adityanath to order an investigation into the death of the seer.
"Narendra Giri Ji's death is detrimental to Sanatan Dharma Sanskriti and to sadhu samaj across the country. I am saddened to hear that his death took place under suspicious circumstances. It is not a death, but a murder. I request CM Yogi Adityanath to conduct an inquiry into the matter. The inquiry should be such that everything becomes clear."
Aam Aadmi Party MP Sanjay Singh, expressing his condolences on Twitter, has also demanded a CBI investigation into the death.
"All India Akhara Parishad President Pujya Narendra Giri ji died under suspicious circumstances. I am very sad to hear the news. In this government neither common man is safe nor sadhu saint, mahant, a CBI inquiry should be conducted in this matter. May God rest the soul of Late Narendra Giri ji," he said.
(With inputs from NDTV and News18.)
Subscribe To Our Daily Newsletter And Get News Delivered Straight To Your Inbox.