Prayagraj: A suicide note allegedly written by Mahant Narendra Giri, head of the Baghambari Mutt in Prayagraj who was found dead Monday, states the seer feared that his disciple Anand Giri would morph one of his photos with a woman in an intimate position and make it viral.
According to the alleged suicide note, Narendra Giri, also president of the Akhil Bharatiya Akhara Parishad (ABAP), tried to kill himself on 13 September but “couldn’t muster the courage”. In some of the pages of the seven-page note, the date mentioned at the top is 13 September, which has been scribbled later and made 20 September.
“Mujhe pata chala ki Anand Giri computer ke madhyam se mobile se kisi ladki ya mahila ke galat kam karte hue, meri photo lagakar, viral kar dega. Maine socha kahan kahan safai dunga. Main badnam ho jaunga, (I found out that Anand Giri will morph my photos with a woman in an intimate position and make it viral. I thought who all will I give an explanation to; it will tarnish my image forever,” reads the note, a copy of which was accessed by ThePrint.
“I was about to commit suicide on 13 September, but could not muster the courage,” the note claims. “People will eventually know the truth that I never did that with any woman, but by then my image will get tarnished, I will never be able to recover from that as I hold a very prestigious position. I cannot live to see that, so, I am committing suicide and it is because of Anand Giri, Prabha Tiwari and his son Sandeep Tiwari.”
In the note, Giri has denied allegations that he stole money, and requests his followers to make his samadhi near a tree at the park inside the mutt where he often sat to pray.
“I have not swindled any money. I have put each and every penny for the development of the mutt and the temples,” the note reads.
The Allahabad Police have arrested Anand Giri, who is being questioned.
“An SIT has been formed. Anand Giri has been detained. He is being questioned. We are confronting him with all the claims that have been made in the suicide note. Arrests are likely,” Additional Director General, law and order, UP Police, Prashant Kumar, told ThePrint.
“His body will be sent for a postmortem examination tomorrow. From the suicide note, it appears that he was being blackmailed by Anand Giri and others and he was not in a good mental state because of that. We are probing all angles.”
The FIR has been registered under sections of abetment to suicide.
Anand Giri had been sacked from the Baghambari Mutt and the akhara this year for allegedly being in constant touch with his family, which is against the traditions of being a sanyasi.
Sources told ThePrint that Anand Giri had also accused Narendra Giri of land fraud, among other things, but apologised later. Narendra Giri, the sources claimed, was annoyed by Anand Giri’s activities over the past few months.
On Tuesday, hundreds of the prominent seer’s followers had gathered at the mutt to pay respects to him. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Samajwadi Party leader Akhilesh Yadav too visited the mutt. His body was kept in a casket as crowds poured to take a last glimpse of the mahant.
‘Asked for the rope last week’
Giri’s disciples who found him hanging from the ceiling fan inside his room have told police that he had asked for a rope last week saying he wanted it to dry his clothes.
It was around 4:30 pm Monday that his disciples broke open the room and found the seer hanging.
“He would retire in that room after lunch and would then come out for prayers to go to the temple. That day he told us that someone is going to visit and we should inform him when the person arrives. He also said he would call for tea himself. But when he did not open the door for long, did not even come for the prayers, we called him. He did not pick up. Then one of us went and knocked at the door but there was no response,” a disciple who stays at the mutt said.
“When he did not respond, we broke open the door and were shocked to see him hanging. We quickly cut the rope and got him down, but he had passed away by then. The police were then informed.”
Many are in denial that the seer could have committed suicide and call it a “conspiracy”.
“I have known him for 30 years. He was such a strong person who always took the correct stand. He is not the kind who would kill himself fearing someone,” said Swami Hari Giri, Maha Mantri at the Akhara Parishad.
Swami Ashok Maharaj of the Dwadash Madhav Parikrama seconded the view. “He never wrote letters himself. He would dictate and his disciples would write,” he said. “It is a little hard to believe that he penned down a seven-page letter and no one knew.”
CCTV footage, entry register, forensics
Since many of the seer’s disciples entered the room where he allegedly hanged himself and took down his body, many fingerprints have been found strewn across the room. This has compromised the crime scene.
“The disciples had already taken down the body by cutting the rope and touched things around, much before the police reached, and so there are a lot of fingerprints at the spot,” a source in the UP Police said. “Basing the investigation on it is now going to be challenging.”
Although the suicide note clearly mentions the motive, the police is yet to authenticate if the letter was indeed written by the seer or not. It has been sent for a forensic analysis.
Moreover, the police have also accessed the CCTV footage from the ashram to see who all entered the mutt during that period.
“There are no struggle/resistance marks on the mahant’s body, and the room also was not ransacked, apart from a drawer which was found to be on the floor,” the source said. “Although the mahant had locked the room from inside that his disciples had broken when he stopped responding, we are still looking at the CCTV footage to see if someone came from outside to meet him. All angles are being probed. The investigation is on.”
Others on the police radar include Adhya Tiwari, priest at a local Hanuman temple, his son Sandeep Tiwari, BJP leader Sushil Mishra and SP leader Indu Prakash Mishra. Adhya and Sandeep have also been detained for questioning.
(Edited by Arun Prashanth)