Bhaiyyuji Maharaj, a popular spiritual leader, allegedly shot himself. A suicide note was found near him.
The 50-year-old, who had top politicians and celebrities among his followers, wrote in the note that he was “stressed out”, according to the police.
“I am leaving too much stressed out, fed up,” Bhaiyyu Maharaj reportedly wrote in the two-line note found by the police.
Popular to his followers as “Bhaiyyuji Maharaj”, the guru had married for the second time last year. His first wife had died in 2015. Reports suggested a rift with his daughter.
The police said his family would be questioned. “His wife and family were at home, their statement will be taken for the investigation,” said Jayant Rathore, a senior police officer in Indore.
Bhaiyyu Maharaj recently made headlines as one of the five spiritual leaders given the status of ministers by the BJP government in Madhya Pradesh. He turned it down, saying a “post has no importance to a saint.”
A former model, Bhaiyyu Maharaj was born Udaysinh Deshmukh in Shujalpur, around 90 km from Madhya Pradesh capital Bhopal. Over the years, he developed links to several politicians, including from the BJP and the Congress. He announced his retirement from public life in 2016.
“The country has lost a person who was a confluence of culture, knowledge and selfless service,” said Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan. The BJP’s ideological mentor Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh or RSS also condoled his death.
Former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister and senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh has blamed the state government for Bhaiyyuji Maharaj’s suicide.
“He was worried about illegal mining in the Narmada by the Shivraj Singh Chauhan-led government and was offered the post of minister to shut his mouth. He rejected the offer and had told me about it on call,” Digvijaya Singh alleged in an interview to news agency ANI.
(With inputs from ANI)