Murders of sadhus in Uttarakhand’s Haridwar have link to tussle over property


Express News Service

DEHRADUN:  In the last three decades, over two dozen sadhus in Haridwar have been murdered. Most of these cases still remain cloaked in the shrouds of mystery.  Kirankant Sharma, a Haridwar-based political analyst, has been following the trail of such cases since 1991.

“With the real estate boom, land and properties of the ashrams became a lucrative source of wealth. Eventually, this led to rivalries, conspiracies, and the game of domination using every possible means available. This also involves the power game of various stakeholders in the system,” he said.

Karan Khurana, another resident of Haridwar, points out: “In 1991, Raghavacharya was killed outside his ashram by bike-borne assailants. This was the first such incident that sent ripples across the region. In 1993, seer Rangacharya was killed. These cases remain unsolved.”

In 2000, a female seer from the US was killed followed by the murder of Baba Sutendra Bengali in 2001. Both the cases have been sub judice. In 2001, four seers were killed at Har-ki-Pauri.

The next year, Baba Hariyananad was killed along with his disciple followed by the murder of Bole Baba in 2003. In 2004, another seer, Yogananad, was killed. His case is still in a limbo. In 2006, Swami Amritananda was found murdered. 

In 2012, Mahanta Sudhir Giri of Mahanirvani Panchayti Akhada, one of the most powerful akhadas, was killed. The accused were arrested and conspiracy was busted. A man had paid Rs 9 lakh to three men to kill the head of the religious sect.

In the same year, three seers were killed in a temple. It was revealed that the crime had roots in a property dispute.

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