New Delhi: A day after Mahant Narendra Giri, the head of a top religious body – Akhil Bharatiya Akhada Parishad – allegedly committed suicide after facing mental harassment in the hands of his disciple and others (what the 12-page suicide note warrants) in Uttar Pradesh’s Prayagraj, Anand Giri – his closest disciple has been arrested.
The UP police have filed an FIR (First Information Report) against Anand Giri, who was Narendra Giri’s closest aide until they fell out in May. Caught by the police in Haridwar, Uttarakhand last evening, Anand is accused of harassing the late seer.
Anand Giri was allegedly expelled by the seer over allegations of fraud and financial mismanagement, however, they sought out a few days later, with a video showing Anand Giri sitting at the feet of his mentor, seeking forgiveness but the police suspect the truce between the two, short-lived.
The two other disciples detained for questioning are Sandip Tiwari and Adya Tiwari, who stayed with Narendra Giri.
According to police officials, Narendra Giri, who headed one of the largest religious bodies of saints in the country, was found dead at his home earlier this evening. His body was found by one of his students. On Monday afternoon, when he did not come out of his home for his traditional public meeting, his students knocked and found the door bolted from inside. When they broke in, they found him dead.
Soon after the incident the UP police initiated investigation and found a 12 page long suicide note that mentions late seer’s disciple Anand Giri and two more persons -Adya Tiwari and his son Sandip Tiwari’s names in the suicide note recovered from the spot.
“We are reading the note. He said he was depressed. He also wrote what should be done with the ashram after his passing, in the form of a will,” senior Prayagraj police official KP Singh told reporters on Monday.
Narendra Giri was an influential seer, seen frequently with top politicians of the country. Prime Minister Narendra Modi was among the leaders who expressed grief at his death.
“The death of Akhara Parishad president Shri Narendra Giri ji is extremely sad. While devoted to spiritual traditions, he played a big role in connecting many streams of Sant Samaj together. May the Lord give him a place at your feet. Om shanti,” PM Modi tweeted.
“The death 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,” tweeted Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath tweeted.
Giving a stern warning in Mahant’s death case, UP Chief Minister said “several pieces of evidence” had been collected and the “culprit will not be spared”.
The 72-year-old seer was elected the All India Akahara Parishad chief for a second term in October 2019 and was a highly influential and politicians of all affiliations used to visit him in Prayagraj.