Seer fasting for Ganga cause force-fed
Dehradun: Save Ganga activist Swami Poornanand, who had been on an indefinite fast since December 10 to protest resumption of quarrying and stone-crushing in the ecologically sensitive areas along the river, was force-fed after his health deteriorated.
The activist, who was on fast for 19 days, was force-fed yesterday by a team of district administration officials from Haridwar upon the advice of doctors at the Himalayan Hospital Jollygrant, Haridwar District Magistrate Sachin Kurve said on Saturday.
Poornanand had been continuing his stir without food despite being arrested on the 13th day of his fast on December 22 on charges of attempting suicide.
Remanded in 14 days' judicial custody by a local court in Haridwar, Poornanand was admitted a week back at the hospital, where a team of district administration officials from Haridwar force-fed him.
Criticising the move, Haridwar's Matri Sadan Ashram, with which the seer is associated, termed it as a "conspiracy" by the state government to quell the ongoing protest against its order allowing resumption of quarrying along the Ganga.
Meanwhile, the Uttarakhand High Court has served interim show-cause notices on the state industry department and the Garhwal Mandal Vikas Nigam for allowing resumption of quarrying and stone crushing in the ecologically sensitive areas near the Ganga in Haridwar.
On a PIL admitted in the Court two weeks after Poornanand went on a fast protesting the government's move, the bench of Justice Sudhansu Dhulia served notices yesterday to the principal secretary (industries) and MD of GMVN Pankaj Kumar Pandey asking them to explain why they had allowed resumption of quarrying and stone crushing in such areas before completion of the environment impact assessment exercise.