Swami Nigamanand, whose fast against quarrying in the river Ganga could not generate the same publicity and political pitch that yoga guru Baba Ramdev did, died on Monday after an ordeal of 115 days. The swami, 36, was on a fast from February 19 to April 30, when he was admitted to hospital. Thereaf
ter, forced feeding kept him alive till June 13.
The administration evicted him from the scene of the agitation on April 27 after his health deteriorated and later he had to be admitted to the Jollygrant Hospital, where Baba Ramdev too was sent after he fell sick.
Swami Nigamanand’s struggle was against illegal mining in the river by stone crushers in Haridwar.
“Nigamanand has walked through the path of martyrdom. It is difficult to bear the loss. I pledge today to leave my body in a yogic way,” said Swami Shivanand, the founder of Matri Sadan, a hermitage of the swamis.
Earlier, Matri Sadan had lodged a complaint with the police, accusing the administration, Himalayan Stone Crusher (a company) and doctors of the district hospital of Haridwar of attempting to kill Swami Nigamanand by poisoning him.
However, an Uttarakhand government spokesman has rubbished the allegations. “Baseless remarks are being made against the government,” the spokesman said.
Himalayan Stone Crusher owner Gyanesh Agarwal told HT “Matri Sadan and Nigmanand were against government policies, which we are following.”
Matri Sadan had also moved the Uttarakhand high court against quarrying.