Rajat Sharma

Conspiracy behind Mahant’s suicide: Those guilty must be punished

akb full_frame_74900Akhara Parishad chief Mahant Narendra Giri was laid to rest (Bhu-Samadhi) on Wednesday with full honours in the presence of saints and sadhus. Meanwhile, the signed suicide note of the Mahant has revealed that he committed suicide because of a blackmail threat by his disciple Anand Giri, presently under police custody.

UP police has, in its possession, a video recording of the Mahant before he committed suicide, in which he holds his disciple Anand Giri for his extreme act. This video clearly refutes all claims being made by Anand Giri during the last 24 hours. Soon after the Mahant’s death, a suicide note was found in which he had made a similar charge against his disciple.

On Tuesday, UP police confirmed that a one minute video has been found from Mahant Narendra Giri’s cellphone in which he has made the same charges that he levelled in his suicide note. The details revealed by the Mahant, both in his video and suicide note, are heart rending. The Mahant alleged that his disciple Anand Giri was threatening him to release morphed video and pictures in which he would show the Mahant with a girl.
The Mahant says and writes, that it would take a long time for the truth to come out, but by then, he would be defamed and his prestige in society would lie in tatters. “I will give so many clarifications, but will people believe them? By the time people will realize the truth, it would be too late”, he wrote. Clearly, the mahant was afraid of calumnies that would be heaped once the morphed blackmail video was out. He wanted to end his life before facing such insults and calumnies.

The saddest part of this story is that the Mahant had groomed his disciple, Anand Giri, from childhood, looking after his education and upbringing. He wanted to anoint him as his successor before death. On Monday, minutes after news spread about the Mahant’s suicide, Anand Giri, sitting in a village near Haridwar, alleged that the mahant was murdered, he could not have written such a lengthy suicide note and that some vested interests wanted to grab the mahant’s properties. If one goes through the suicide note and video, and his disciple’s charges, it will be easier to figure out who is telling the truth and who is lying.

Going through the mahant’s video and suicide note, it is clear that his suicide did not take place because of sudden emotion. The mahant was making preparations for his suicide for the several weeks.
According to the suicide note, he tried to commit suicide on September 13, but could not muster enough courage. The 15-page handwritten suicide note appears to have been written over a period of several days. Police found the suicide notes written in two envelopes. On one note, the date September 13 was written, and on the other, the date September 20 was written. Anand Giri’s claim that the mahant could not write more than a few paras stands refuted. The mahant took time to write his suicide notes, even one of the pages had only a few sentences with several corrections.
In the suicide note dated September 20, the mahant wrote that he has got information that Anand Giri was going to release a morphed video of the mahant with a girl within a day or two, and he would make it viral on social media. “If he does so, how long should I go on giving clarifications? Once I am defamed, what will remain for the rest of my life? I occupy a dignified post which commands respect and reverence…I am going to take my life, and for this act, I hold Anand Giri, Aadya Prasad Tiwari and his son Sandeep Tiwari responsible”, he wrote. The suicide note was written on an official letter pad of Baghambari Math.

He also wrote: “Since the time Anand Giri levelled false, untrue and baseless allegations against me, I have been living under tremendous mental pressure. Whenever I am alone, I feel I want to die. …Anand Giri, Aadya Tiwari and Sandeep Tiwari have backstabbed me, they even tried to kill me, baseless charges were levelled against me by Anand Giri on social media like Facebook and newspapers. They are threatening to defame me again, and that’s why, I want to take my life.”

The question arises: Why was the Mahant so much afraid? He did not commit any illegal act, yet why was he afraid? He himself reveals the reason both in the video and suicide note. Anand Giri had earlier circulated a morphed audio clip using the mahant’s voice on social media, causing defamation. In the end, he wrote, “Today I have lost my courage, I am ending my life.” In the audio clip posted on social media, a man’s voice similar to that of the mahant, is heard abusing somebody.

Anand Giri had also circulated a video showing the mahant showering currency notes on bar dancers at a wedding reception. In fact, the mahant had gone to a wedding function of one of his staff to bless the newly wedded couple, and returned, but the video was morphed and it was shown as if the mahant was showering currency notes on bar dancers. This month, when the mahant came to know that Anand Giri was going to circulate a morphed video of him with a girl, he lost courage and decided to take his own life.

UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath went to Prayagraj on Tuesday to pay his last respects to the mahant. After he was briefed by senior police officials, a Special Investigation Team consisting of senior UP police officers has been formed, the truth is going to come out. Anand Giri has been named in the initial FIR. He was been brought to Prayagraj for interrogation. Several disciples and sevadars of Baghambari Math are being questioned. Sources have revealed that the mahant had initially ordered sulphas (aluminium phosphide) pesticide tablets but later changed his mind, and bought a nylon rope. The box of sulphas was found unopened. He used the nylon rope to hang himself.
As a child, Anand Giri used to wash utensils at a ‘dhaba’ in Haridwar when the Mahant noticed him. On asking him about his parents, the boy told him that he hailed from Bhilwara, Rajasthan and has run away from his home. The mahant tried to send him back to his home, but when he refused, he took the child to his ashram. He groomed him like his son. Anand Giri pursued higher education and obtained Ph.D. from Benares Hindu University. Later, Anand Giri tormented his guru by trying to defame him in social life. This boy whom he had groomed for decades became the cause of his death. It is sad that a boy who he took under his wings since childhood tried to defame him in public.

It would be better if police goes to the depth of the conspiracy that led to the mahant’s suicide. The truth must come out. Those guilty for tormenting the mahant in his last days must be punished.

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