The growing differences between his 18-year-old daughter and second wife could have driven self-styled spiritual leader Bhaiyyu Maharaj to commit suicide, the preliminary investigation by the police has revealed.
“We have indications that there was an animosity between Kuhu (also known as Kalyani) and Dr Ayushi and it might be the reason behind the suicide,” Indore’s director general of police Harinarayanachari Mishra said.
However, Mishra added the evidence was not conclusive and police were also investigating other aspects.
The 50-year-old locked himself in his daughter’s room and shot himself with his revolver in his Silver Springs Colony house on Tuesday afternoon, leaving behind a suicide note in which he wrote about being “stressed out” and “fed up”.
A senior officer associated with the investigation into his death said they have seized Bhaiyyu Maharaj’s mobile phone, tablet and computer to find out whether anyone was blackmailing him, which could have led him to commit suicide.
Police are also investigating his hour-long meeting with a woman at a restaurant near Rau on Monday afternoon. Mishra said the woman has been identified as a family friend and details of the conversations are being collected.
Police sources familiar with the investigation said Kuhu never accepted her father’s marriage with Dr Ayushi.
Kuhu’s mother and Bhaiyyu Maharaj’s first wife Madhavi died in November 2015 and he married Dr Ayushi, a gynaecologist who was attached to his ashram in Shivpuri, on April 30, 2017. Kuhu did not attend the wedding ceremony held in Gwalior.
Kuhu also did not like the fact that Dr Ayushi’s parents were living in a rented house near their residence in Silver Springs Colony, sources quoted above said. Police said things worsened after 45-year-old Dr Ayushi gave birth to a daughter four months ago.
Kuhu smashed all of Dr Ayushi’s photographs in the house on Tuesday after she reached Indore from Pune and had to be controlled by the women guards present there, a police officer said.
Dr Ayushi, police said, too had confided to her close friends on several occasions that she did not get along with her step-daughter. They added Kuhu had a fight with her step-mother on June 8, Dr Ayushi’s birthday, and she did not attend the party.
Police officers said they have talked to Bhaiyyu Maharaj’s close confidants Vinayak and Shekhar and both have confirmed that there was a tension in the family due to the animosity between Kuhu and Dr Ayushi.
Vinayak told reporters that Bhaiyyu Maharaj was going to Pune to meet Kuhu on Monday but came back after his daughter said that she would come home the next day.
He said the spiritual leader was tensed after that and spoke to someone over the phone but it was not clear who he was talking to.
Thousands of people paid their last respect to Bhaiyyu Maharaj, whose body has been kept at his ashram at Bapat crossing in Indore. He will be cremated at the crematorium near Sayaji at around 1pm.