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Ramdev treated, Nigamananda left to die?

Last updated on: June 14, 2011 20:24 IST

Ramdev treated, Nigamananda left to die?

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Under attack from the Bharatiya Janata Party over issues relating to Ramdev and Anna Hazare, the Congress on Tuesday sought to turn the table on it over the death of Swami Nigamananda in BJP-ruled Uttarakhand.

All Indian Congress Committee 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 satyagraha."

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Image: Baba Ramdev being rushed to hospital by his supporters

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'BJP ignored Nigamananda admitted to the same hospital as Ramdev'

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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 seer died on Monday after a record 114-day long hunger strike demanding immediate stopping of quarrying in the Ganga.

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.

Image: Swami Nigamanand died on Monday

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'Uttarkhand govt reluctant to take action against illegal mining on Ganga banks'

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Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh also held the 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 reacting to a volley of questions on the death of the swami.

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. It 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. But no action was taken," the minister said.

Photographs: Reuters
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'Asked Pokhriyal to take action against mining mafia'

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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.


Image: Uttarakhand Chief Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal

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