Free Press Journal

Six letters to PM Narendra Modi by Ganga crusader, but no reply


New Delhi: The Kanpur IIT professor-turned 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 long-term 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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