Six let­ters to PM by Ganga cru­sader, but no re­ply

The Free Press Journal - - NATION -

The Kan­pur IIT pro­fes­sor­turned monk, Prof. G D Agar­wal, who died on his 112th day of fast­ing on Thurs­day for a cleaner Ganga, had writ­ten six let­ter to Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi since Fe­bru­ary to­wards the plight of the holy river, but the lat­ter ig­nored his de­mands to stop il­le­gal sand min­ing on the Ganga’s riverbed and banks and a halt to all dams and hy­del projects on the river.

Now, the spir­i­tual Guru of Prof. Agar­wal alias Swami Gyan Swa­roop Sanand (86) wants a CBI probe into his mys­te­ri­ous death. Swami Avimuk­tesh­waranand, a saint based in Modi’s con­stituency of Varanasi, sug­gested that Swami Sanand had died at AIIMS Rishikesh af­ter be­ing forcibly taken there from his protest spot in Harid­war Wed­nes­day evening.

"The way po­lice picked him up from Ma­tri Sadan (his ashram) and he died (at the hos­pi­tal) raises doubts over the state gov­ern­ment's in­ten­tions," he said.

Ravi Kant, AIIMS Rishikesh di­rec­tor, has, how­ever, gone on record that the monk died of a heart at­tack. "He was suf­fer­ing from longterm hy­per­ten­sion, her­nia and uri­nary dis­eases. His potas­sium and glu­cose had reached crit­i­cal lev­els. We talked to him on Thurs­day but he died at 1.50pm."

Swami Avimuk­tesh­waranand said: "His fel­low sad­hus at Ma­tri Sadan have re­vealed that river de­vel­op­ment and Ganga re­ju­ve­na­tion min­is­ter Nitin Gad­kari had spo­ken to him on the phone a few days ago and said his de­mands wouldn't be met even if he died fast­ing."

Sanand's close as­so­ciate Ra­jen­dra Singh, known as "wa­ter­man", pledged to keep alive his fight for a clean Ganga through a mass move­ment and an­nounced a Ya­tra that will be­gin on Sun­day from Har Ki Pauri in Harid­war on Sun­day and end at Gan­gasagar in West Ben­gal on the Makar Sankrati on Jan­uary 14. "We will tell peo­ple how PM Modi and his gov­ern­ment ig­nored his re­peated mis­sives on the Ganga."

Singh said Sanand had trashed the e-flow no­ti­fi­ca­tion brought by the gov­ern­ment to save the holy river, say­ing that it does not have the strength to main­tain "Gan­gatva" or essence of the Ganga. The Ya­tra will tell the peo­ple about the no­ti­fi­ca­tion and the Ganga Act that the gov­ern­ment is try­ing to bring just be­cause the elec­tions are round the cor­ner, he said.

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