As the CBI takes over the probe into the death of Narendra Giri, the religious leader who died allegedly by suicide on Monday in Uttar Pradesh, a six-member team was sent to Prayagraj this morning. The top seer was found dead at his ashram in the city on Monday.
Narendra Giri was the head of top religious body Akhil Bharatiya Akhara Parishad. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had called for a CBI probe into his death, and the state government recommended the investigation by the central agency on Wednesday. Without any delay, the central government on Thursday said in a statement that the CBI had taken over the probe.
The CBI has invoked "abetment to suicide" charges against the accused in its FIR, officials said.
The influential seer, photographed with many top politicians of the country, was found dead in his ashram, about 200 km from state capital Lucknow, on Monday afternoon.
In a 13-page suicide note, he blamed Anand Giri - the virtual number two in the ashram - Aadya Tiwari and his son Sandeep Tiwari for his death. He said he was under pressure over what he called a "morphed image with a woman".
An hour before his death, the top seer had also shot a video on his mobile, said police. The allegations in the 4 minute 30 second video are similar to what he wrote in the suicide note.
All three religious leaders were arrested a day after his death.
In the video, Narendra Giri reportedly says, according to sources, that he was so distraught that he didn't see any purpose in living.
Amid intensifying probe, Anand Giri's lifestyle captured in photos and videos shared on social media - where is he is seen jumping out of a plane strapped to a skydiving instructor, river rafting, touring in France and standing in front of a bright orange Lamborghini at a race track - has also caught attention.
Dismissing the allegations against him, Anand Giri had alleged a conspiracy "by people who used to extort money from Narendra Giri".
"I have spent my entire life over there and never took any money. Everything was good between me and Guru Ji. Hence I request the government to investigate the matter thoroughly," Anand Giri had said.
The Akhil Bharatiya Akhada Parishad is one of the largest religious bodies of saints in the country.
"I want to thank the Chief Minister for handing over the case to the CBI," Kailashanand Brahmachari, head of the Niranjani Akhada, one of the constituents of the Akhada Parishad, told reporters on Thursday.