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2 disciples, realtors detained but Mahant’s death still a mystery

Wednesday, 22 September 2021 | Abhilash Narain | Allahabad

The mystery behind the death of Akhada Parishad chief Mahant Narendra Giri remains unresolved even after 24 hours even as some disciples of the Mahant, including Chhote Mahant and Yoga guru Anand Giri, besides some local politicians and property dealers, have been detained for interrogation.

Amid the clamour of a probe by the CBI or by a sitting judge of the High Court into the matter, the UP Government ordered an SIT investigation into the incident.

Initially, police did not release the alleged suicide note on the pretext that it was being examined thoroughly by the forensic team to ascertain whether or not it was written by the Mahant, but by evening officials of the Home department released the suicide note in Lucknow.

In that suicide note the Mahant has named his disciple Anand Giri, and some others for “threatening and forcing” him to commit suicide. The seer has further mentioned that he was living under stress due to threats issued by those named in the “suicide note”.

The Mahant has also blamed the priest of the Hanuman temple, Adya Tiwari, and his son Sandeep Tiwari, but did not elaborate.

“I appeal to Prayagraj Police and local administration to hold people mentioned in the letter responsible for my death and initiate a legal action against them,” the Mahant said in the alleged “suicide note”.

Baghambari Math possessed huge landed property worth hundreds of crores of rupees, and some of them were sold by the Mahant to builders. This, insiders say is the bone of contention between Mahant Narendra Giri and some of his disciples.

Meanwhile, the UP Police has detained Anand Giri from Haridwar, said an official on Tuesday. Anand Giri was detained on Monday night after a case for abetting suicide was lodged against him, ADG (Law and Order) Prashant Kumar said.

Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath visited Baghambari Gaddi on Tuesday and paid floral tributes to Mahant Narendra Giri. He said whosoever is behind the death of the Akhara Parishad chief would be brought to the books. He asked the officials, including the ADG Zone, IG Range, and the DIG, besides the divisional commissioner, to monitor the investigation and bring to the fore the truth to unravel the mystery.

“Some clues have been gathered, but they are not enough to draw a conclusion”, said the CM after being briefed by the police officers. He also met the sants and Akhara Parishad office-bearers and discussed the process of Bhumi Samadhi for Mahant Narendra Giri.

However, a good number of sants are not ready to accept the suicide theory. They are terming it as a well-planned murder. The Mahant was quite strong physically and mentally, so he would not opt for suicide to end his life, they said and raised questions on the recovery of the eight-page suicide note, which was unprecedented.

The official gunner, provided to the Mahant is also being interrogated.

Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya, senior ministers in Yogi Adityanath, paid tributes to the slain Mahant. Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav too visited Baghambari Math to pay homage to Narendra Giri.

The Panch Parameshwar of the Akhara Parishad will meet on Wednesday to give the final shape to the post-mortem and Bhumi Samadhi date and timing. A five-member team of doctors will be deployed for autopsy.

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