A day after he allegedly committed suicide by shooting himself at his residence here, spiritual leader Bhaiyyuji Maharaj was cremated on Wednesday. Police have ruled out foul play, treating discord at home as the possible reason for the alleged suicide. However, they have kept the investigation open.
Bhaiyyuji married Ayushi Sharma in April 2017, after the death of his first wife Madhvi in 2015. He has a teenage daughter from his first marriage — Kalyani — who studies in Pune, the police said.
He had left for Pune on Monday, but returned from Sendhva in Madhya Pradesh after his daughter told him that she would fly to Indore the next morning. Before she could reach home, he shot himself in his daughter’s room, after pulling up domestic helps for not cleaning the room. He had locked himself inside before he pulled the trigger, the police said.
In the suicide note recovered from the room, he talked about stress and being fed up with life. In the second page of the suicide note, he said all property-related investment be handled by his trusted aide Vinayak.
READ | Who was Bhaiyyuji Maharaj?
Indore District Magistrate, Nishant Warwade, said it was a clear case of suicide and resulted from tension within the family. He denied reports that there were discrepancies in the suicide note and that different handwriting and different pages were used. He said police investigations were on the right track.
Hundreds of followers, mostly from Maharashtra, attended the last rites. His daughter lit the pyre. His body was first taken to his old house from Bombay Hospital and later kept at Suryodaya Ashram for more than three hours to allow his followers to pay their last respects.
Union Minister Ramdas Athawale and three ministers from Maharashtra government — Pankaja Munde, Girish Mahajan and Eknath Shinde — and a host of MPs and MLAs from the neighbouring state reached Indore on Wednesday. In contrast, only a couple of legislators from Madhya Pradesh were present.
The condolence meeting at the crematorium was largely conducted in Marathi as the majority of speakers offered tributes in that language. Politicians belonging to the BJP, Congress, Shiv Sena and RPI were present.