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Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, on Tuesday, 21 September, said the person responsible for Mahant Narendra Giri's suicide would not be spared, reported ANI.
Mahant Narendra Giri, 72, was the head of Akhil Bharatiya Akhada Parishad (ABAP), one of the largest bodies of Hindu saints in the country. He was found deceased at his Baghambari Math residence in Uttar Pradesh's Prayagraj on Monday, 20 September.
The police had discovered a suicide note during the initial investigation, in which the seer's disciple, Anand Giri, and two others were mentioned, reported ANI.
"As per the wishes of his disciples and followers, his body will be kept today at Baghambari Math for people to pay last respects. The post-mortem will be done tomorrow, and the culprit will not be spared," the CM stated. "I politely request everyone to not give unnecessary statements during the process and let the investigating agencies do their work," he added.
Think Someone Has Strangulated Hindutva in Uttar Pradesh: Shiv Sena MLA Sanjay Raut
Adityanath said a team of senior police officials, including ADG Zone, IG Range, DIG Prayagraj, were investigating the case and had collected several pieces of evidence.
"I remember how he gave his unconditional support to make Prayagraj Kumbh 2019 an international level event. His contribution to religious society is unforgettable," he stated. "It is very sad that he is not with us today. I pray to Lord Shri Ram to give peace to his soul," he added.
Keshav Prasad Maurya, the Deputy Chief Minister of UP, said that they are even ready for a CBI investigation.
"Matter will be investigated. Culprits will be given the strictest punishment. Government is ready to facilitate all kinds of investigation. If it is needed, we're ready for CBI investigation too. Government won't turn away from demands of Akhada Parishad, whatever they may be," he said, as per ANI.
Meanwhile, Samajwadi Party Chief Akhilesh Yadav said, "A sitting high court judge should conduct an investigation so that the truth behind the incident comes out," reported ANI.
Shiv Sena MLA and Chief spokesperson Sanjay Raut said it seems like Hindutva has been strangulated in Uttar Pradesh and also called for a CBI investigation, reported Hindustan Times.
Raut was referring to the April 2020 incident, where two Hindu ascetics and their driver had been lynched at Gadchinchale village in Palghar district. Yogi Adityanath had at that time called for a strict action against the culprits.
"“When Sadhus were killed by a mob in Palghar, that time the BJP called it an attack on Hindutva and hue and cry was raised from Uttar Pradesh as well. The manner in which Narendra Giri’s suspicious death has come to light, I think someone has strangulated Hindutva in Uttar Pradesh. This case should also be probed by CBI. The mysterious death should be probed independently.”" - Sanjay Raut, Shiv Sena MLA, as quoted by Hindustan Times
Anand Giri and Two Others Detained
An FIR was lodged against Anand Giri at Georgetown police station in Prayagraj. He was later detained by the police and was being brought to Prayagraj for interrogation. The chief priest of the Bade Hanuman temple, Adya Prasad Tiwari and his son Sandeep Tiwari were also detained and interrogated by the police.
"We will take action based on the findings of post-mortem report and investigation," the police said.
ADG law and order Prashant Kumar said that a case under Section 306 of IPC (Abetment of suicide) had been registered against Anand Giri, "whose name also surfaces in suicide note in Mahant Narendra Giri's death case". Kumar said that a probe was underway, and Anand Giri "had been taken into police custody on Monday". The FIR was registered based on a complaint by another disciple Amar Giri Pawan Maharaj, reported ANI.
Talking about the incident, Kumar said, "When it was time for his disciples to leave in the evening, they found the door was locked from inside. When the disciples broke the door and looked inside, his dead body was hanging from a nylon rope. A suicide note has also been found in which he has written about the torture of Anand Giri."
In the suicide note, Giri said he wanted to live with dignity, but was unhappy due to some reasons, a senior UP police officer said, according to Hindustan Times.
The officer said Giri's disciples had confirmed his handwriting in the note, but added that a concrete statement can only be made after thorough investigations.
Anand Giri Calls the Allegation a Conspiracy
Meanwhile, the accused Anand Giri called the allegation against him a conspiracy. "It is a big conspiracy by people who used to extort money from Guruji and wrote my name in the letter. It needs to be investigated as Guruji has not written a letter in his life and could not kill himself. His handwriting needs to be probed," he stated.
Meanwhile, all 13 ABAP heads will be present in Prayagraj to pay their last respects as well, reported News18. They will meet to demand an investigation and also discuss the nomination of a new head of the Akhada.
Earlier, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and several other political leaders, including former UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and BJP Chief JP Nadda, had tweeted their condolences.
(With Inputs from ANI, NDTV and News 18)
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