The Central Bureau Investigation (CBI) on Friday, September 24, took over the investigation into the death of Akhil Bhartiya Akhara Parishad (ABAP) president Mahant Narendra Giri. He was found dead in his room at the Baghambari Math on September 20 in Prayagraj.
A day before taking over the investigation, a five-member CBI team from Delhi reached Prayagraj to interact with police officers who initially handled the case. Following the allegation of some foul play, on Wednesday night, the Uttar Pradesh government decided to recommend a CBI probe into the mahant’s death. The demand for a CBI investigation into the case was also raised by opposition parties, including Congress and Shiv Sena.
Haridwar’s seer community had alleged that Mahant’s death was the result of a conspiracy. But after Mahant’s death, a suicide note purportedly handwritten by him was recovered from his room. In the note, he revealed that he was forced to commit suicide because he was being blackmailed by his follower Anand Giri. In the recovered suicide note, besides Anand, the names of two other disciples were also mentioned. According to the reports, Anand Giri was blackmailing him over a morphed photo with a girl.
In a statement, the state chief minister Yogi Adityanath had assured that the culprit behind Mahant’s death would not be spared.
A First Information Report, FIR, was registered against suspected culprits Anand Giri and two others under section 306 of the Indian Penal Code. Following that, Anand was arrested and produced before the court on Wednesday, September 22. The court remanded Anand to judicial custody for 14 days. And later Anand was sent to jail.
In his defence, Anand claimed that he was being framed and alleged that his guru Mahant Narendra Giri was murdered by someone else because they had stolen money from the Math.
According to sources, he was a close disciple of the Mahant, but earlier this year, Anand was expelled from the Math on the charge of indiscipline. Anand said that he later apologised for his behaviour to the Mahant in public and following which he was taken back.