Lifelong Devotion To Ganga, 86-Yr-Old IIT Professor Turned Swami Detained After 19 Day Hunger Strike
Eminent environmentalist Dr G D Agrawal was evicted from the venue of his indefinite hunger strike in Kankhal-Haridwar, Uttarakhand on Tuesday, July 10. It was the 19th day of his fast regarding issues related to the river Ganga.
As per latest reports, Dr Agrawal has been shifted to AIIMS, Rishikesh on account of his deteriorating health. Reportedly, he has lost almost 9 kgs since his fast began on June 22.
86-year-old Dr.Agarwal, who is famously known as Swami Gyan Swaroop Sanand, was forcefully removed by a team of Police from the venue of his fast-unto-death. The former IIT professor turned activist was then held in an undisclosed location.
On Wednesday, July 11, environmentalists and activists gathered at Rajghat to perform prayers at Mahatma Gandhi’s memorial for the success of Swami Sanand’s fast.
After his forceful eviction, Swami Sanand filed a petition before the High Court against the police action, as reported by UNI. The Uttarakhand High Court Court Bench comprising Justice Rajiv Sharma and Justice Alok Singh, stepped in on Wednesday, directing the state Chief Secretary to hold meetings with the fasting Swami within the next 12 hours to resolve this issue. Talks will be held with the Swami over four ongoing hydro-power projects namely–Bhagirathi, Palmanari, Lohari Nagpal and Bhero-ghati along the Ganga tributaries. The court also directed the Principal Secretary(Home) to disclose Swami’s location to his supporters.
In his petition to the court, the former IIT Professor explained that despite the fact that his hunger strike for the cause of Ganga was peaceful and posed no threat to law and order, he was removed forcibly from Matri-Sadan by the police and his supporters were ill-treated by them.
According to Net India reports, Dr Rajendra Singh, known as the “Waterman of India”, has urged the Prime Minister to ensure immediate passage of the Ganga Protection and Management Bill and stop construction of dams along the river, which is the main demand of the Dr.Agrawal.
Mr.Singh said that trusting PM Modi’s commitment for Ganga, Dr.Agrawal had stopped all agitation programmes in the country in 2014 before the general election. He added that since 2014, however, no progress has been made so far and around Rs 20,000 crore have been wasted in the name of Ganga conservation.
While talking to The Logical Indian, Dr Rajendra Singh condemned the lack of action taken by the government. He said that the condition of Dr Agrawal is deteriorating while the government is stalling for time. He added that the Uttarakhand chief secretary, who was ordered by the state HC to meet Swami Sanand, has not yet come to meet citing that the issue is beyond his purview.
Swami Sanand’s fast continues and if needed he will give his life to save Ganga, says Dr Singh.