‘Narendra Giri made his first will in 2010, changed twice’

LUCKNOW: The lawyer of Akhil Bharatiya Akhara Parishad (ABAP) chief Narendra Giri said on Friday that the seer got his will prepared in 2010 and changed it twice in 2011 and 2020, finally naming Balbeer Giri as his successor and the mahant of Baghambari Math after his death, reports Rajiv Mani. Mahant Narendra Giri, 62, was found dead at Shri Math Baghambari Gaddi in Prayagraj on September 20.
Talking to TOI, advocate Rishi Shankar Dwivedi said the mahant had got his will prepared for the first time on January 7, 2010.
“I became his lawyer in 2011 and at that time, he had already got a will (dated January 7, 2010) prepared wherein he had named Balbeer Giri as his successor. However, he asked me to change the will (dated August 29, 2011) and name Anand Giri as his successor,” said Dwivedi, a resident of Allahapur locality of Prayagraj.
“He changed his will again in 2020 replacing Anand Giri with Balbeer Giri again, saying he would look after the Math and the temple in a better manner,” he said.
On being asked why the mahant made a will so early (in 2010), Dwivedi said the practice was common for seers as they believe death could come anytime.
The lawyer said he doubted that the signature and the handwriting in the “so called suicide note” was that of Mahant Narendra Giri. “Although it is for the police to decide but I have seen his handwriting for over a decade. He never wrote such long letters and to the best of my knowledge, it is not his handwriting,” Dwivedi claimed.
He said on the fateful day (September 20), Narendra Giri called him around 12.45pm from a new number and said he wanted to discuss something very important, but did not disclose the matter over the phone.
“There were differences between mahant Narendra Giri and Anand Giri over a portion of land on the premises of Baghambari Math. Narendra Giri had earlier given a piece of land, measuring about 400 square feet (on the right side of the entrance of the Math), on lease to Anand Giri. He wanted to cancel the lease and open a petrol pump so that the money could be used to meet the expenses of the Math. However, Anand Giri opposed the move which led to differences between the two,” he added.
Dwivedi said irrespective of what was written in the suicide note of Narendra Giri, his last would stand and as per the law of the land, Balbeer Giri should be the mahant’s successor.
Asked about the allegations made by Anand Giri that his guru made a lot of property in the name of his relatives and disciples, Dwivedi said: “These are false claims. The fame and prosperity earned by the Math under Narendra Giri is matchless. Whatever he did, it was only for the Math.”
TOI also spoke to Man Singh, a 76-year old lawyer of the lower court in the district. Singh, who is one of the two witnesses of the last will of Narendra Giri, said: “The will (dated June 4, 2020) was signed by Narendra Giri in my presence and it was his last will which is registered”.
The second witness of the will is another lawyer, RK Upadhyay.

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