ANAND Giri, who was arrested in connection with Mahant Narendra Giri’s mysterious death, has become a person of interest across the country, not only because he is a suspect in the case but because of his far from ascetic lifestyle. Giri, who was recognised as a leader of a group of young saints in Haridwar, was stripped off his title of president of Bharat Sadhu Samaj after he was named in the case.
A disciple at Yuva Bharat Sadhu Samaj said that since Anand Giri was promoting the Indian culture both inside the country and abroad he had been conferred the title by the Bharat Sadhu Samaj. “But after Anand Giri’s name appeared in the suicide note of Mahant Narendra Giri, today the saints of India, we decided to remove him as the organisation’s international president,” he said.
Mahant Narendra Giri was found dead under mysterious circumstances at his Baghambari Math located residence on Monday. As the case brought Anand Giri in the limelight, some amusing and intriguing details about his life have emerged.
38-year-old Anand Giri is a priest at the Bare Hanuman Temple in Prayagraj. As per his website, Giri “got his spiritual calling at the age of 12” following which he “set out on the path of self-realisation”.
Giri, who also likes to be referred to as ‘Yoga Guru’, has conducted Yoga workshops for Army personnel among others, his website reads.
The seer’s Facebook page by the name Swami Anand Giri, followed by 86,932 people, gives a glimpse into the interesting life of the seer. The modern ‘yogi’, who is also tech-savvy can be seen using laptops and bluetooth earpieces in pictures posted online.
Giri’s social media page is full of photos in which he can be seen posing on a bike, at a beach, clicking dapper selfies with his aviators on, apart from photos of him performing religious rituals. The seer has also shared videos of skydiving and river rafting on Facebook.
In one post, Giri backed Bollywood star Kangana Ranaut saying, “I am with Kangana, are you? I am against the politics of hate that has taken a new birth in Mumbai, to end nepotism and to show the mirror to some of the philanthropists, I am with the step that Kangana has taken.”
Giri also shared a video of himself skydiving in Australia. “Fly like a bird,” his Facebook post read.
His social media page also showcases several videos and images from his trips to Paris, Berlin and London, among other foreign countries.
He was arrested in Australia in the year 2019 over two sexual assault charges, which were reported on his previous trips in 2016 and 2018.
Uttar Pradesh Police on Tuesday lodged an FIR against Anand Giri under IPC Section 306 (Abetment of suicide) in connection with Mahant Giri’s death. Giri was detained in Haridwar after a purported suicide note by the now deceased seer said Anand Giri was trying to blackmail him using a morphed picture of a woman. The seer purportedly wrote that he would rather die with dignity than face this false accusation.
Anand Giri has denied all charges and alleged that he is being framed.
Meanwhile, a prominent seer of Niranjani Akhara, Acharya Mahamandleshwar Kailashanand, on Wednesday claimed that the purported suicide note of spiritual guru Narendra Giri, does not have his handwriting. “I do not consider this suicide note authentic as it does not have Giri’s handwriting. I knew him for the last 20 years. He did not use to wite,” said Kailashanand, considered very close to Giri.
The Police on Wednesday arrested a third person named Sandeep Tiwari in connection with the death. Earlier on Wednesday, the seer’s two disciples, Anand Giri and Aadhya Prasad Tiwari, were produced in a local court, which sent them to a 14-day judicial custody.
The Uttar Pradesh Police had constituted an 18-member SIT to probe the death of the seer.
(With PTI inputs)