Mahant Giri suffered grave mental trauma, ended life to avoid defamation, says CBI in chargesheet
Narendra Giri, the president of the largest organisation of seers in India, was found dead by his disciples at the Baghambari Mutt in Allahabad on 20 September
New Delhi: Mahant Narendra Giri, the deceased president of Akhil Bhartiya Akhara Parishad, was under such "grave mental trauma" from his estranged disciple Anand Giri, priest Adhya Prasad Tiwari and his son Sandeep Tiwari that he ended his life to "avoid defamation and insult" in the eyes of society, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has said in its chargesheet.
The CBI recovered a video of the Mahant, recorded before he killed himself, in which he alleged that Anand Giri was going to release an "edited video" showing him in an objectionable position with a woman, it said.
The agency had filed its chargesheet on 20 November accusing Anand Giri, the priest of Bade Hanuman Mandir in Allahabad, Adhya Prasad Tiwari and Sandeep Tiwari, all in judicial custody, of abetment to suicide and criminal conspiracy, officials said.
Narendra Giri, the president of the largest organisation of seers in India, was found hanging by his disciples at the Baghambari Mutt in Allahabad on 20 September.
In order to buttress claims of mental and psychological pressure on Narendra Giri, the CBI has cited several alleged conversations of Giri with various individuals.
According to the chargesheet, Narendra Giri was fearful that Anand Giri may circulate an edited video of him with a woman to tarnish his reputation. He had asked his disciples if someone's face can be superimposed on another in a video, it said.
Hours before his death on the morning of 20 September, Narendra Giri had called a seer in Varanasi, Mahant Santosh Dass that he had reliable information that Anand Giri had prepared a computerised video in which Narendra Giri was shown in a compromising position with a woman, the charge sheet said.
It said Narendra Giri had expressed apprehension that Anand Giri had shown the video to two people in Allahabad and one person in Haridwar and he was going to make this clip go viral.
The chargesheet gives a detailed description of the feud between Narendra Giri and Anand Giri which was allegedly a result of changes in the will of the Mahant. Narendra Giri had first declared Balbir Giri as his successor of Baghambari Gaddi in Allahabad, then changed it to name Anand Giri as the successor, before again changing it to name Balbir Giri.
Amid the tussle between Narendra Giri and Anand Giri, the latter was expelled from Nirajani Akhara, Haridwar, Baghambari Gaddi and Bade Hanuman Temple at the Mahant's insistence, the CBI alleged.
Narendra Giri also expelled Adhya Tiwari as the priest of Bade Hanuman temple and took back a flower shop in the temple premises which was run by his son, also an accused in the case.
Narendra Giri had alleged that Anand Giri was misappropriating funds of Baghambari Gaddi and maintaining relations with his family members which was unbecoming of an ascetic, the charge sheet alleged.
In order to effect expulsion of Anand Giri, a meeting of Panch Parmeshwar of Niranjani Akhara was convened in Haridwar on 13 May 2021 where it was decided to expel him, it said.
The agency has alleged that Anand Giri wanted to be declared the Mahant's successor for the Gaddi. To reach a compromise on Anand Giri's expulsion, a conference call was arranged between Anand Giri, Mahant Ravinder Puri of Niranjani Akhara in Haridwar and Narendra Giri on 23 May.
During this call, Anand Giri allegedly said that he had a number of objectionable videos and audios of Narendra Giri, the CBI has alleged.
"Mai aapko bhejunga to apke pairo ki zameen khisak jayegi, aise aise video, audio mere pass hai (You will be stunned to see the videos and audio that I have)'," the CBI said in the chargesheet quoting the conversation.
"The said audio recordings containing the conversation between Mahant Narendra Giri, Mahant Ravindra Puri and Anand Giri were also recovered from Anand Giri's mobile during the investigation," the chargesheet alleged.
The CBI also mentioned that Narendra Giri had sought to know from his disciples the effects of Celphos (a pesticide) on human body and the time it taken to cause death. The day before his death, he asked his disciple to bring a nylon rope for his living room to dry clothes, it said.
The central probe agency found CCTV footage showing a disciple, Sarvesh Dwivedi, handing Narendra Giri the rope on the night of September 19, it alleged.
The CBI has alleged that the three accused hatched a criminal conspiracy to create circumstances with a motive to compel Narendra Giri to revoke the expulsion of Anand Giri and return the flower shop to Adhya Tiwari and his son.
The accused allegedly "humiliated and harassed mentally and psychologically" Narendra Giri with an objective of getting back position in Baghambari Gaddi and Bade Hanuman Mandir, compelling him to commit suicide, the CBI said.
In furtherance of the conspiracy, they allegedly circulated objectionable audios and videos defaming Narendra Giri and "mounted immense mental and psychological pressure on him to end his life", the charge sheet alleged.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted that Giri had played a huge role in bringing together “many streams of the Sant Samaj”
His body was found hanging from the ceiling by his disciples and a purported suicide note was also found at the site
Hindu and Muslim leaders met for a negotiated settlement of the Babri Masjid-Ram Janmabhoomi dispute with both sides saying a peaceful way to resolve the issue must be found.