Dehra Dun, Jun 14: Yoga guru Ramdev today paid tributes to the seer of Haridwar-based Matri Sadan Ashram, Swami Nigamanand, who died after a record 114-day long hunger strike demanding immediate stopping of quarrying in Ganga. “I pay my tributes to the martyrdom of Swami Nigamnand,” Ramdev said.Nigamanand (36) died yesterday at the Himalayan Institute of Medical Sciences at Jolly Grant here where the yoga guru was recovering.
Nigmanand was demanding immediate stopping of quarrying in the Ganga at Haridwar and alleged corruption in the government's system with active involvement of the mafia. He had begun his fast on February 19 and was in coma since May 2.
The founder head of Matri Sadan Ashram Swami Shivanand had lodged a complaint against Chief Medical Superintendent (CMS) of Haridwar district hospital Dr P K Bhatnagar and owner of Himalaya Stone Crusher Gyanesh Kumar in Kotwali police station of Haridwar on May 11 alleging Swami Nigamanand was poisoned on April 30 during treatment, following which he went into coma on May 2.
Nigamanand was admitted to Haridwar district hospital. On April 30, he was given an injection by a nurse after which he went into coma on May 2, Shivanand had alleged. Later, the seer was shifted to the hospital in Jolly Grant.Shivanand had alleged that Nigamanand was given “Organo phosphat” through injection which led to deterioration in his condition.
In New Delhi, the Congress attacked BJP's Uttarakhand chief minister Ramesh Pokhriyal over the death of Swami Nigamananda.
AICC general secretary Janardan Dwivedi said that it was "very unfortunate and saddening" that the Chief Minister of a party, which does not stop swearing in the name of Ganga and Ram, was busy paying his attention to the other "political game" but did not take notice of Nigamanand.
He described the seer as a person who was agitating for saving Ganga river and checking illegal mining with firm determination and in a spirit of "true Satyagrah".
"Nigamananda was being treated in the same hospital in which Ramdev was admitted. The state government has all the information but it did not pay attention to the former," the Congress leader said, adding that everybody should express his or her views against "such insensitivity".
The 36-year-old seer of Haridwar-based Matri Sadan Ashram was on indefinite fast since February 19 also demanding shifting of Himalayan stone crusher from Kumbh mela area.
Dwivedi said that it would have been better had everybody including media would have paid attention on him as he was fighting injustice and social and economic problems.
He said that there was a need for public awareness on the issue so that such an incident is not repeated in future.
In New Delhi, Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh today held Uttarakhand Government responsible for the death of Swami Nigamanand.
“In view of the fact that the State Government has demonstrated a continued reluctance to take action against illegal mining, I think, we will have no option but to invoke Section 5 of the Environment Protection Act and take action on our own,” the Minister said.
Recalling a letter he had sent to Uttarakhand Chief Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal “Nishank” on January 6, last year, asking him to take steps to end illegal sand mining in the stretches of River Ganga at Haridwar, Ramesh said, “unfortunately, no action was coming from the state government over the last 15 months or 16 months.” “I am extremely sorry that the swami who were fasting has died... should not have happened. I have myself been to Maitri sadan twice and I have spoken to the chief minister on a number of occasions that illegal mining is rampant in Uttarakhand... that illegal mining enjoys political patronage in the highest levels. Please take actions. But no action was taken,” the Minister said.
In his letter, Ramesh had raised concerns regarding the deteriorating quality of water of River Ganga due to illegal mining in the stretches at Haridwar and also expressed anguish over the fast unto death protest by seers on the issue of illegal mining.
Ramesh said he had requested Pokhriyal to carry out action against the mining mafia in the state particularly in Haridwar according to law which he is empowered to do so. The Minister said on December 9, 2009, he had sent a team of officers from the Ministry to investigate the issue of illegal mining around Haridwar and given Pokhriyal a copy of a report that was prepared by them and invited his attention to the conclusions of the report.
“According to law, minor minerals is a responsibility of the state government major minerals is a responsibility of the Central Government,” he said. PTI