President of the Akhil Bharatiya Akhada Parishad, Mahant Narendra Giri (72) was found dead at his residence in UP's Prayagraj on Monday. A suicide note has been recovered from the spot, Prayagraj Inspector General (IG) KP Singh told the media.
In the suicide note, the seer wrote: "I lived with dignity, will not be able to live with insult, this is why I am taking my own life."
IG KP Singh also said that Mahant Narendra Giri accused his disciple Anand Giri and a number of others of troubling him in the suicide note he allegedly left behind.
'Conspiracy by police, land mafia, kin'
Speaking to Aaj Tak on Monday, Anand Giri alleged, "This is a massive conspiracy; senior police officials and land mafia, even his family members are involved in this. Those are the people who were roaming around Guru ji [Mahant Narendra Giri], asking him to sell properties owned by the Math."
Anand Giri went on to claim that the same people created a rift between him and Mahant Narendra Giri. "My name [in the suicide note] is an effort to end me. It is a conspiracy," he alleged.
Cops outside Mahant Narendra Giri's residence in Prayagraj on Monday | PTI
The disciple of Mahant Narendra Giri also said that he will cooperate with the Uttar Pradesh Police. Anand Giri said he is in Haridwar and is planning to leave for Prayagraj to join the probe into his teacher's death.
'Guru ji was pressurised and forced to die'
Asked about the contents of the suicide note recovered by police, Anand Giri said, "I spoke to him [Mahant Narendra Giri] and he told me he was fine and would come to Haridwar. He was in no way mentally disturbed. He was tortured and pressurised and forced to die and he could have been forced to write my name [in the suicide note] or someone else could have written it."
Anand Giri urged the UP government to conduct a fair and impartial probe into the matter.
"If I am responsible, I should be punished. But action should be taken against whoever is responsible. Who is benefiting from Math's properties? In whose name were these properties sold? This is all a big conspiracy to end me and my Guru ji," Anand Giri said.September 20, 2021
He added, "I spent 25 years with him. He is not the kind of person who would die by suicide. He was the person who oversaw four Kumbh Melas. He kept his views forward on all issues. He was tortured and the game is that of money and loot."
Responding to a question about who might have plotted this conspiracy, Anand Giri named fellow disciple Amar Giri, Ajay Singh (a soldier who used to shadow the seer), a Manish Shukla, and an Abhishek Mishra of Jaunpur.
Fallout between Mahant Narendra Giri and Anand Giri
In May of this year, Anand Giri was sacked from the Niranjani Akhara and Baghambari Math by Mahant Narendra Giri. A video later surfaced of Anand Giri sitting at Mahant Narendra Giri's feet and apologising for his remarks against the seer and the Math.
When asked about this fallout, Anand Giri told Aaj Tak that the dispute was over the sale of land owned by the Math.
"Guru ji had told me that he would not sell the land and that the buyers had agreed [to cancel the deal]. But he was being pressurised by some of the buyers who had given him an advance. It was because of this pressure that he borrowed money from some people in Haridwar, some police officials in Allahabad and some common people," Anand Giri said.
He went on to add, "People were troubling him for money and he was so troubled that he died by suicide. It is possible that the people who were benefiting from this could have shown him a video to force him to write that suicide note before killing him."
Anand Giri also alleged that another seer in the Akhada was murdered over the sale of land worth Rs 40 crore earlier.
(with inputs from Samarth Srivastava)