Akhil Bharatiya Akhara Parishad chief found dead in his room
PRAYAGRAJ Akhil Bharatiya Akhara Parishad president and Mahant of the Bade Hanuman temple of Prayagraj, Narendra Giri, 62, was found dead in his room at Baghambari Gaddi Math here on Monday. His body was found hanging from the ceiling fan, said police officials.
They said the suicide note recovered from the room blamed ABAP president’s disciple, Anand Giri, and two others for the alleged suicide. “Based on the suicide note, we detained Anand Giri in Haridwar with help of Uttarakhand police. Anand Giri is being brought to UP for further questioning,” said Prashant Kumar, ADG (law and order), UP.
Prima facie, it appeared that Giri committed suicide by hanging himself. His disciples at the math informed that the room was bolted from inside, said KP Singh, IG (Prayagraj range).
The police had received a call from the ashram around 5.25pm informing that Mahant Narendra Giri was found hanging in his room at the guest house of Baghambari Gaddi Math, he said.
Forensics were carrying out investigations and people at the math were being questioned in this connection, said DK Singh, SP (city).
“The eight-page suicide note stated that Mahant Narendra Giri took the extreme step as he was not happy with some of his disciples. It also mentioned his will on the ashram and names of many disciples including Anand Giri. Narendra Giri, in the note, said he wanted to live with dignity but was unhappy due to some reasons. His disciples have confirmed that the handwriting is of Giri, but anything concrete could be said only after proper investigations,” said the IG.
Meanwhile, a huge crowd of devotees assembled outside the Baghambari Gaddi Math as the news of Giri’s death spread in Prayagraj.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath condoled Mahant Narendra Giri’s death. The PM hailed him for playing a vital role in uniting saints of different streams while remaining true to spiritual traditions. Terming his death as a huge loss to the spiritual world, Yogi Adityanath prayed that God gives Giri’s disciples and followers the strength to bear the loss.
UP’s deputy chief minister Keshav Prasad Maurya had met 62-year-old Mahant Narendra Giri on Sunday. “I am unable to believe that Mahant Narendra Giri could have committed suicide. I am shocked, pained and at a loss of words. I knew him since childhood and he was always very brave. I had sought his blessings on September 19 morning. He was very normal then…,” Maurya said in his Tweet in Hindi.
AAP MP Sanjay Singh, in a tweet, expressed sorrow over the incident and demanded a CBI inquiry into Mahant Narendra Giri’s death, claiming that neither the common man nor the saints were safe under the present government.
Deputy chief minister Dinesh Sharma also condoled Giri’s death and said the state government would investigate the incident.
Mahant Narendra Giri hailed from the trans-Ganga area of Prayagraj. He belonged to Shri Panchayati Akhara Niranjani, one of the ancient monastic orders of the country, of which he was the serving secretary as well.
Giri was elected president of the Akhil Bharatiya Akhara Parishad, the apex decision-making body of the 13 recognised Hindu monastic orders of the country in 2014 for five years. In October 2019, he was re-elected to the post at a meeting of the Akhara Parishad held in Haridwar in October 2019.
In May 2021, Giri had a fallout with his disciple, noted yoga guru and the then chhote mahant of Bade Hanuman temple, Swami Anand Giri, following which Anand Giri was expelled from Baghambari Math and Niranjani Akhara.
Anand Giri was accused of continuing his connections with his family in violation of the set norms of sanyas. He was also accused of indulging in financial irregularities associated with the temple fund, a fact that was confirmed at the time by secretary of the Akhara Parishad.
Anand Giri was expelled from the math after a complaint against him in this regard by Narendra Giri. However, within a few days, Anand Giri formally sought forgiveness from Narendra Giri and the Panch Parmeshwar of the Shri Panchayati Akhara Niranjani. Narendra Giri had then forgiven him and also allowed Anand Giri to enter the Bade Hanuman temple and the Baghambari Math after lifting the entry ban.