U’khand govt fails to prod seer to call off fast

Last Updated: Monday, December 5, 2011 - 21:49

Haridwar: Uttarakhand government on Monday failed
to persuade Swami Shivanand to call off his indefinite fast to
press for halt to quarrying along the Ganges river even as
police filed a case of attempt to suicide against the seer.

As the hunger strike by the seer entered the 11th day,
Revenue Minister Diwakar Bhatt held talks with him for nearly
an hour but failed in his efforts.

Sixty five-year-old Swami Shivanand, who began his
indefinite fast on November 25, has bolted himself in a room
at his Matri Sadan ashram here since Sunday expressing
apprehension that the administration might forcibly shift him
to a hospital.

Spokesman of the ashram Sant Dayanand said Bhatt has
failed to give any assurance regarding stopping of quarrying
in Ganga and so the fast of Swami Shivanand would continue.

Meanwhile, the district police has registered a case of
attempt to suicide under IPC section 309 against Swami
Shivanand.

Shivanand, the founder head of Matri Sadan ashram, has
said he would not end the fast till Uttarakhand government
issued a notification regarding banning quarrying in the
entire stretch of the Ganga in Haridwar.

Chief Minister B C Khanduri had made it clear last week
that quarrying along the entire stretch of the Ganga river in
Haridwar would not be stopped and termed the seer`s demand as
"illogical."

Swami Shivanand had begun the fast nearly five months
after the death of his disciple Nigamanand over the demand of
banning quarrying in the Ganga river in Kumbh area of
Haridwar.

In June this year, Nigamanand died after fasting for
nearly four months.

The death of 36-year-old Nigamanand had, however,
sparked a controversy with Swami Shivananad alleging he was
poisoned at the behest of quarrying mafia that led to his
death. However, a forensic report during CBI probe into the
case has revealed that Swami Nigamanand was not poisoned.

PTI



First Published: Monday, December 5, 2011 - 21:49

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