Mahant Narendra Giri, the president of Akhil Bharatiya Akhara Parishad (ABAP), was found dead at Shri Matt Baghambari Gaddi in Prayagraj on Monday evening. He was 62. His body was found hanging from the ceiling inside a room. ABAP is the apex decision-making body of the 13 recognised Hindu monastic orders of the country.
Police claimed to have recovered a suicide note from his room. They also claimed that Narendra Giri has accused one of his disciples Anand Giri of “mental torture” which forced him to take the extreme step. Anand Giri was later taken into custody in Haridwar.
Reports said some of Narendra Giri’s disciples alerted police about the incident on Monday. Senior police officials rushed to the spot. Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Aditynanath sought a detailed report of the incident from the state home and police top brass.
ADG (law and order) Prashant Kumar said followers of Narendra Giri had brought his body down from the noose after breaking the doors before the police reached the site. Confirming that a handwritten suicide note has been recovered from the room, the ADG said: “He has accused one of his disciples, Anand Giri, of mental harassment. We have traced Anand Giri to Hardiwar and a police team has been dispatched to arrest him.” He said the scene of the incident and the suicide was being forensically examined.
Sources said the suicide note runs into four sheets of paper (written on either sides). In the suicide note, Narendra Giri has stated that he had lived life “respectfully and wanted to die respectfully” as well. The suicide note talks of his disciple Anand Giri having caused mental harassment to him. Informed sources said a major part of the suicide note is more of a “will” containing details like which disciple of his should get what.
In Hardiwar, Narendra Giri’s disciple Anand Giri described the incident as a murder and sought a probe into the incident. Talking to reporters at his Ghaziwala village ashram minutes before he was taken into custody by cops from Shyampur police station in Haridwar, Anand Giri said his name in the suicide note was a part of a conspiracy. “It should be probed how Mahant Narendra Giri, who usually never wrote more than a few lines at a time, wrote such a long note,” he said.
Narendra Giri was involved in a bitter property dispute with his junior Anand Giri a few months ago. The matter was later resolved supposedly in the presence of a senior police officer and two politicians. Narendra Giri’s death sent shockwaves among his followers and fellow seers in Prayagraj, Haridwar and beyond.