Narendra Giri death: Accused disciple arrested; CBI probe demands grow
The main accused in the death of Mahant Narendra Giri, Anand Giri, has been arrested, the Uttar Pradesh Police said. Anand was reportedly detained in Haridwar on Monday night and subsequently arrested. The arrest came after he was named in an FIR registered under Section 306 (abetment to suicide) of the Indian Penal Code at George Town Police station in UP's Prayagraj.
Anand, the closest disciple of the deceased seer, came under the police's radar after a handwritten suicide note recovered from Narendra's residence blamed him and two other disciples for the death. The two others have also been arrested, the Hindustan Times reported. Meanwhile, the UP government has also formed a special investigation team (SIT) to probe all angles related to the seer's death.
Anand reportedly had had a falling out with the seer in May this year. He was reportedly expelled by Narendra over allegations of fraud and financial mismanagement, according to NDTV. However, days later, a video emerged which showed an apparent patch-up between the two. The UP Police suspect that the patch-up was eyewash and short-lived.
Prior to his arrest, Anand had told AajTak that Narendra did not die by suicide, claiming that he had been murdered. Anand also said that this is a "massive conspiracy," alleging the involvement of senior police officials, land mafia, and even family members of the seer. He alleged that Narendra's death has to do with the properties in Shri Math Baghambari Gaddi.
Stating that he is ready to cooperate with the police probe, Anand had said, "If I am responsible...I should be punished. But...who is benefiting from Math's properties? In whose name were these properties sold? This is...a big conspiracy to end me and my Guru ji."
Mahant Narendra Giri, the President of Akhil Bharatiya Akhada Parishad, was found dead at his residence in UP's Prayagraj on Monday. According to reports, the 72-year-old had been found hanging by a nylon rope. He was reportedly in his room after lunch but did not respond when disciples knocked on the door or called him on his cell phone repeatedly later in the evening.
Narendra was an influential seer who was seen frequently with top political leaders. UP CM Yogi Adityanath said that "several pieces of evidence" had been collected, and the "culprit will not be spared." Deputy CM KP Maurya said a CBI probe would be ordered if need be. Several political parties, including Shiv Sena, have also called for a CBI probe.