Spiritual guru Bhayyu Maharaj, who had refused to accept ministerial rank granted by the Madhya Pradesh government over two months back, yesterday allegedly committed suicide by shooting himself, in Indore, police said.
"Bhayyu Maharaj has committed suicide by shooting himself. He shot himself at his home," Indore's Deputy Inspector General (DIG) H C Mishra said.
A large number of his supporters gathered in front of the hospital where the 50-year-old 'godman' was rushed after the shooting incident.
Bhayyu Maharaj, whose original name was Uday Singh Deshmukh, was one of the five 'saints' to whom the Shivraj Singh government of Madhya Pradesh had granted Minister of State (MoS) rank in April. However, he had refused to accept it, saying "a post holds no importance for a saint".
Prior to becoming a spiritual guru, he had done a modelling stint, his disciples said. He enjoyed a large following among politicians and film stars.
Mostly all Mahrashtra Chief Ministers including the incumbent, Devendra Fadnavis and former President Pratibha Patil used to pay obeisance to him.
When India Against Corruption (IAC) movement led by Anna Hazare was at its peak some years back, he had negotiated with the agitators to break their fast.