In a major blow to Hindu society, Mahant Narendra Giri ji, the chief of Akhil Bharatiya Akhara Parishad (ABAP), was found dead in Prayagraj on Monday evening.
The revered saint’s body was found hanging from a rope inside a room in the Baghambari Mutt in Daraganj area. Senior police officers rushed to the spot and took custody of the body, which will be sent for post-mortem.
The police said that prima facie, it appears to be a case of suicide but further probe would reveal the exact cause of death.
The media has been barred from entering the Mutt, which is presently under heavy security cover. Hundreds of disciples have reached the Mutt, but they have been prevented from going inside. The disciples refused to believe that the saint had ended his life and insisted that there was some foul play.
Sources said that a five-page suicide note has also been recovered in which the Mahant has held one of his disciples responsible for his death. The police, however, refused to confirm this.
Mahant Narendra Giri ji had replaced Mahant Gyan Das as the chief of the Akhara Parishad, the apex body of 14 akharas, in March 2016. As the president of the Akhara Parishad, he played a key role in the Kumbh Mela held in Ujjain, Prayagraj and recently in Haridwar.
Mahant Narendra Giri had also demanded strict action, including a CBI probe, in the brutal Palghar lynching case. Two sadhus of the Juna Akhara – Kalpvriksh Giri Maharaj (70) & Sushil Giri Maharaj (35) – and their driver Nilesh Telgade were lynched by a 100 strong mob on April 16 last year while Maharashtra police stood as mute spectators.
Om Shanti, Om Sadgati.
(With IANS inputs)