Swami Nigamanand sacrifice to save the Ganga
After four months of fasting for saving River
Ganga (गंगा), Swami Nigamananda Saraswati died at around 2 pm on 13 June 2011 at the Jolly
Grant Himalayan Institute Hospital, Dehradun. Swami Nigamananda, 34, had been fasting for 115 days in Haridwar.
The 34-year-old Swami, a member of Matri Sadan, was protesting against
the illegal mining that is polluting the river Ganges. He had started his fasting on February 19 this year. On April 27, his health started
deteriorating and forced the authorities to admit him at the district hospital. The Swami went into coma and had to be admitted in a very critical
condition to the Jolly Grant Hospital in Dehradun on April 27, 2011.
Swami Nigamananda battle against illegal Mining
Swami Nigamananda Saraswati was a member of Matri Sadan who has been struggling to save Ganga from
illegal mining for the past 12 years. Swami Nigmanand Saraswati had earlier done fast from Jan 20, 2008 till April 1, 2008 which resulted in
success and Stone mining was banned, but after some months it again started and then another activist Dayanand did 30 days fast in March
2009 to shun the Large scale illegal mining. It was closed for sometime and again restarted from Oct 2009.
The Himalaya Stone Crusher is destroying the bed of Holy Ganga and Kumbh area of Haridwar
Matri Sadan never gave up its struggle and this was shown when Dayanand started his Satyagrah from 15th October 2009 which lasted for 163 days.
According to Matri Sadan blog, the Himalaya Stone Crusher is destroying the bed of Holy Ganga and Kumbh area of Haridwar continuously for the
last 10 years by extensive rampant mining of stone and sand. The Blog claims that the illegal mining is running in complete co-operation with
the Government of Uttarakhand and its bureaucrats. (Reference: www.dailybhaskar.in
June 15, 2011)
On June 18, 2011 Ex-Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh has asked the Uttarakhand
government to take action to stop illegal river bed mining in Ganga, particularly around Haridwar. This latest missive comes on the heels of
the death of Swami Nigamanand, who was protesting against mining in the
Ganga. Jairam Ramesh's strongly worded letter to Uttarakhand Chief Minister Ramesh
Pokhriyal Nishank refers to inaction by the state government in tackling illegal riverbed mining.
Allegations that Swami Nigamanand was poisoned
Amid allegations that Swami Nigamanand was poisoned, authorities today ordered a second viscera test of the seer who died
after a four-month fast against quarrying in Ganga bed, even as Congress
stepped up attack on the Chief Minister demanding his resignation. District Magistrate Meenakshi Sundaram has decided that another sample
of viscera of Nigamanand be taken after the founder head of Matri Sadan ashram and his guru, Shivanand, gave a written request in this regard,
said (SSP) Kewal Khurana, a day after the Uttarakhand Government recommended a CBI probe into the circumstances of his death.
Waterman Rajendra Singh blames Uttrakhand
Waterman and Magsaysay award winner Rajendra Singh has termed the
death of Swami Nigamanand of Matri Sadan, Haridwar on June 13 at the end of a prolonged fast protesting against mining on the Ganga river bed and
its surroundings, a “sacrifice” for the cause of environment. Mr. Singh, who too has been campaigning for the past one decade for the
protection of the river, blamed the Uttrakhand Government for the tragedy. “When it comes to protests, those by genuine people for genuine
causes get ignored and the fakes get all the attention,” he said.