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 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. Ramesh's strongly worded letter to Uttarakhand Chief Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank refers to inaction by the state government in tackling illegal riverbed mining.
The demands included as such:
1) Stop Government supported conspiracy against the Sadhus of Matri Sadan. Becuase they were consistently agitating against the BJP Government ruling Uttaranchal at that time.
2) Stone Crushers must be shifted from the residential area of Kankhal. Stone Crushers were operating from the residential areas of Kankhal which was also very close to the Ashram.
3) Illegal mining in the Ganga river bed.
4) To stop running trucks directly through the water flowing in the Ganga river. It was spreading oil in the holy water. The sadhus used to take bath in the river. Since water used to become oily due to the trucks loaded with illegally mined stones directly from the river bed ran all through the day, it had become tough to take every day bath in the Ganga.
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.
It is a pity on Indian Media that on the one hand they cover the fast of Anna Hazare and Baba Ramdev so extensively but they don't care if some Swami Nigamanand dies fighting for the purity of Ganga and against corruption so rampant in Uttarakhand. Illegal mining is rampant, relation between the Government and illegal miners goes deep down and Government Authorities receive bribes from criminals and shunt the yogis and sanyasis.