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Murder fingers at four monks
- Inside the ashram, 90 dogs kept in cramped cages

Amid rumours about the motive for the murder of Samhita Devi — Mamoni to her followers — the ruling faction of Akhanda Mandali alleged on Friday that a section of the sect had conspired to kill the head of the institution.

“Mamoni stood against the anti-organisational activities of a group of people and she paid the price with her life,” said Supriyo Kar, the joint secretary of the religious body’s West Bengal chapter.

Speaking for the executive committee, the highest decision-making body of the 93-year-old organisation set up by Swami Swarupananda Paramhansa Deva (Babamoni), Kar held four monks responsible for the murder of Mamoni.

“Asim Brahmachari of Calcutta, Jugal Brahmachari of Bangladesh, Hareram Debnath of Tripura and Amalendu Sarkar of Siliguri hatched a plot to kill Mamoni and used Kalipada Das for the purpose,” said Kar.

Das entered Gurudham on Wednesday evening and killed Mamoni and her aide, Dulu Dutta, besides attacking Ananda Kamal Brahmachari, who is recuperating in a nursing home.

The four accused could not be reached for comment.

The executive committee refused to provide any evidence to buttress the conspiracy theory.

Heated exchanges among devotees revealed the cracks within the organisation. On Friday, the Gurudham compound witnessed fisticuffs after some devotees said Kalipada was made a scapegoat.

Police had to intervene as supporters of the ruling faction pounced on a group of devotees, who wanted to know why Kalipada was not handed over to the police but beaten to death.

“It is clear that Kalipada came with the motive to kill, but what prompted him is still not clear to us. We have heard the allegations and are looking into them,” said Jawed Shamim, the deputy commissioner of police (detective department).

Sleuths went to the Kankurgachhi compound and spoke to Tapan Brahmachari, who has been appointed head of the institution, for over an hour.

Outside, the devotees queued up to pay tribute to Mamoni and talked about the changes in their lives brought about by their association with the Mandali.

State fisheries minister Kiranmoy Nanda narrated his story: “I met Mamoni and Babamoni in 1982 after taking oath as a minister. On seeing me, Babamoni said from now, all devotees of the organisation would get to eat fish. A few days later, I was given charge of the fisheries department.”

While the police remained mum on the reason behind the rift in the Mandali, devotees told Metro that the root of the conflict was the right to give diksha.

“Mamoni had the sole right to give diksha and these four men had challenged her right… We have learnt that some of them were surreptitiously giving diksha and collecting money from devotees,” said a Gurudham old-timer.

Kar confirmed that Mamoni had moved court last year alleging that Hareram, the head of the Tripura unit, was defrauding devotees.

She had planned to visit Bangladesh to look into the day-to-day running of the sect’s units in Chandpur and Rahimpur. “Jugal, in charge of the Bangladesh operations, had transferred the organisation’s property in his name and Mamoni was very upset,” said Kar.

According to him, people like Jugal and Hareram, keen to become spiritual heads, had ganged up against Mamoni and used Kalipada to remove her from their path.

“Kalipada was more interested in controlling the assets through a berth in the executive committee. Mamoni did not support him and he wanted to take revenge,” explained a devotee.

Kar alleged that Kalipada was tracking Mamoni’s movements for the past six months. “As he was not allowed inside Gurudham, he trailed Mamoni to Tripura during her visit in December. But we did not let him come close to her.”

Learning that Kalipada had spent some time in Jammu, Uttaranchal, Himachal Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh, the police have sought information on the former monk, who was thrown out of the Mandali eight years ago.

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