Dismissing the Crime Branch-Criminal Investigation Department inquiry into the death of Swami Nigamanand as ordered by the Uttarakhand government, the Congress on Wednesday demanded a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation in the case.
"The Ramesh Pokhriyal government is responsible for the death of Swami Nigamanand as it failed not only to check illegal quarrying in the Kumbh area at Haridwar but also failed to provide proper medical care to him," said Uttarakhand Pradesh Congress Committee president Yashpal Arya.
The PCC president said the Congress has no faith in the state government and demanded handing over the inquiry to the CBI to reveal the truth behind Swami's death.
He accused the Bharatiya Janata Party government of making Bollywood actress Hema Malini the brand ambassador of the Ganga Cleaning Campaign and said it did not take any action on the demand of a sadhu who sacrificed his life after fighting 114 days for the same cause.
Arya also accused the state government of patronising the quarrying mafia and said it did not take any action on the demand of the Swami, who had demanded that quarrying in Ganga should be stopped.
The Congress is holding a dharna and protest demonstrations across the state, Arya said, adding that he himself would sit on a dharna in Haridwar on Thursday in support of the demand for a CBI probe.
Swami Nigamanand, a seer of the Matri Sadan ashram in Haridwar, died in the Himalayan hospital near Dehra Dun on June 13 after remaining in a coma for 43 days. Nigamanand had begun his fast on February 19.
Arya said the party would also submit a memorandum to Uttarakhand Governor Margaret Alva, asking her to intervene in the matter.
While the state government has maintained that it is not responsible for the death of Swami Nigamanand as it had already stopped the quarrying in the area in April, the founder head of Matri Sadan ashram Swami Shivanand has alleged that the Swami was poisoned during treatment at the behest of the quarrying mafia that led to his death.
The postmortem report of Swami Nigamanand has said that his death was caused due to coma, septicemia and degenerative brain disorder.
Under pressure due to allegations that the Swami was poisoned, state Urban Development Minister Madan Kaushik on Tuesday announced that the inquiry has been handed over to the CB-CID.