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Death of Mahant Narendra Giri: UP govt recommends CBI probe

Anand Giri, a yoga guru who was detained in Uttarakhand’s Haridwar on Monday, and Adhya Prasad, who is the chief priest of the Hanuman temple at Sangam, were taken into custody after being interrogated at length.

Written by Manish Sahu | Lucknow |
Updated: September 23, 2021 9:41:56 am
Death of Akhil Bharatiya Akhara Parishad president: UP govt recommends CBI probeThe mortal remains of Mahant Narendra Giri being laid to rest at Baghambari Math in Prayagraj on Wednesday. (Express Photo by Ritesh Shukla)

The Uttar Pradesh government on Wednesday recommended a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the death of Akhil Bharatiya Akhara Parishad (ABAP) president Mahant Narendra Giri, two days after he was found dead in Prayagraj’s Baghambari Math.

The state home department said in a tweet that the CBI investigation was recommended on the directions of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath who had said in Prayagraj on Tuesday that if anyone was found responsible for the “tragic death” of the mahant they would receive strict punishment.

The government’s announcement came on a day the police arrested three people on the charge of abetment of suicide in connection with Giri’s death, and, according to sources, a panel of five doctors performed an autopsy to confirm that the cause of death was “antemortem hanging”.

Two disciples of the 72-year-old Hindu ascetic were among those arrested, the police said. The court of Chief Judicial Magistrate Harendra Nath sent them to judicial custody for 14 days while the third accused will be produced before the court on Thursday.

The police said they arrested Anand Giri (45) and Adhya Prasad Tiwari (55), and Tiwari’s son Sandeep (25) as the mahant allegedly blamed them in his “suicide note”.

Anand Giri, a yoga guru who was detained in Uttarakhand’s Haridwar on Monday, and Adhya Prasad, who is the chief priest of the Hanuman temple at Sangam, were taken into custody after being interrogated at length.

Circle Officer Ajeet Singh Chauhan who is heading an 18-member Special Investigation Team (SIT) that started probing the case said Sandeep would be produced before the court on Thursday. The SIT said it was recording the statements of the math’s sewadars and disciples.

At the court, George Town Station House Officer (SHO) Mahesh Singh, the investigating officer in the case, “produced
deceased’s two cellphones, seven-page suicide note, a rope, a knife, and also a DVD containing a video that the victim shot before his death using his cellphone”, said Prayagraj government counsel Gulab Chandra Agrahari.

He added, “The I-O sealed all the articles in the presence of the court. In the video, the victim had accused Anand Giri, Adhya Prasad and Sandeep Tiwari of harassing him and held them responsible for his death.”

According to the lawyer, the police have accused Adhya Prasad of being part of the conspiracy of abetting the 72-year-old’s suicide. Unlike Anand Giri, both Adhya Prasad and his son were not named in the FIR registered on Tuesday based on a complaint by Amar Giri Pawan Maharaj, one of Narendra Giri’s disciples.

While sending Anand Giri and Adhya Prasad to prison, the court rejected Anand Giri’s bail application and posted the matter for hearing on October 5, said Agrahari.

Sources said the SIT was also collecting the details of an FIR registered at the Daraganj police station in Prayagraj on September 6 based on a complaint by Narendra Giri.

The mahant, in his complaint, alleged that someone had opened a Twitter account in his name, and was tweeting objectionable and false information.

The case was registered under IPC sections 419 (punishment for cheating by personation) and 420 (cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property) against unidentified person), and the provisions of the Information Technology Act were also invoked. Daraganj SHO JP Shahi said a letter had been sent to Twitter’s headquarters in California in the United States, seeking information about the IP address from which the account was being operated.

Meanwhile, sources said the mahant’s viscera had been preserved for any examination required in the future. The entire autopsy was filmed, they added.

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