Mahant Narendra Giri, the president of Akhil Bharatiya Akhada Parishad, was found dead on Monday at Baghambari Muth in Prayagraj, police said. The Parishad is the largest organisation of sadhus in India.
Police said they found a seven-page ‘suicide note’ in which the mahant has held his disciple and yoga guru, Anand Giri, besides two others, responsible for his death. UP DGP Mukul Goel said the note would be sent for forensic examination. Anand Giri has been detained from Haridwar with the help of Uttarakhand Police and further probe is underway, confirmed the police.
The other two names mentioned in the alleged suicide note included Adhyay Tiwari and his son Sandeep have been taken in custody for questioning. Adhyay is the priest of Bandhva Hanuman temple in Prayagraj.
Meanwhile, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath will be visiting Prayagraj today to pay his last respects to Mahant Narendra Giri. All 13 Akhil Bharatiya Akhara Parishad (ABAP) heads will be present in Prayagraj to pay their last respects to the seer.
The IGP said that police had received a call at 5.30 pm from the Muth that the seer had hanged himself and added that his body was found at the guest house where he lived during the day. Prima facie it appeared to be a case of suicide but things will be clearer after the post-mortem and forensic tests, the police said.
Singh said a decision will be taken on the last rites of the seer after the arrival of office bearers of the Akhara Parishad. The sadhu had also talked about the construction of a ‘samadhi’ in the suicide note, he said, adding the decision on it will also be taken by the Akhara Parishad’s office bearers.
The influential Hindu seer was hospitalised in April after he tested positive from COVID-19. Several political and religious leaders condoled his demise.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi condoled the death, saying the mahant played an important role in bringing together different streams of seer bodies while remaining dedicated to spiritual traditions. His demise is extremely painful, Modi tweeted.
“The death of Mahant Narendra Giri ji, President of Akhil Bharatiya Akhara Parishad, is an irreparable loss to the spiritual world. I pray to Lord Shri Ram to grant the departed soul a place at his feet and strength to the bereaved followers to bear this sorrow. Om Shanti,” Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath tweeted.
Heavy police force was deployed at the Muth from 6 pm onwards and barricades were set up in the surrounding areas. All top officials, including the divisional commissioner, the district magistrate, IG, SSP, were present at the Muth.