Akhara Parishad chief Mahant Narendra Giri found dead in mysterious circumstances

Express News Service

LUCKNOW: The president of All India Akhara Parishad (AIAP), the apex body of the Sanatan order, Mahant Narendra Giri Maharaj was found dead under mysterious circumstances at his residence in Baghambari Math in Prayagraj on Monday.

As per the police sources, the body of the Mahant was found hanging with a noose of nylon rope in his room, the doors of which were found to be bolted from inside.

As per Additional Director General (Law and order) Prashant Kumar, the police party comprising Prayagraj IG and DIG suspected it to be a case of suicide. However, the investigation was on and the forensic team was present on the spot.

According to the ADG Prashant Kumar, the disciples of the Mahant broke open the door of his room to find his body hanging from the ceiling fan. A suicide note was also recovered from the room which mentions the names of a few of his disciples who allegedly were harassing him.

The 72-year-old seer was elected the All India Akhara Parishad chief for a second term in October 2019.

According to IG, Prayagraj, KP Singh, the late seer has mentioned the name of Anand Giri, one of his disciples, prominently in the suicide note and has accused him of mental harassment.

In the note, which has been written more as a will, the seer had reportedly expressed his pain saying that he had lived all his life with respect and honour and he could not live without it anymore.

He has also reportedly specified in the note which disciple has to be given what in the Baghambari Akahara, said the police sources.

However, IG KP Singh said that anything concrete could be claimed only after matching the handwriting on the suicide note with that of the seer by the forensic experts.

Sources close to Mahant Narendra Giri claimed that he was caught in a dispute with one of his disciples Anand Giri around a year ago. Following the dispute, Anand Giri was expelled by the Mahant not only from Baghambari Akahra Peeth but from Akhara Parishad also. Both had indulged in leveling charges against each other and Anand Giri, at present in Haridwar, had tendered an apology to the Mahant but his expulsion was not revoked.

However, tributes started pouring in from different corners of the country. Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to Twitter to pay homage to the departed seer. He posted that the Mahant played an important role in integrating various orders of sant samaj while dedicating himself to the spiritual traditions.

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath offered condolences on Narendra Giri Maharaj’s death. Yogi Adityanath said that the death of Mahant Narendra Giri Ji was an irreparable loss to the spiritual world. “I pray to Lord Shri Ram to give peace to the departed soul and give strength to the bereaved followers to bear this grief.”

Former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister and Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Akhilesh Yadav also offered condolences saying, “All India Akhara Parishad President Pujya Narendra Giri Ji passed away, it is an irreparable loss. May God grant the virtuous soul peace and strength to his followers to bear this loss.”