A day after Uttarakhand Government ordered CB-CID inquiry into the death of Swami Nigmanand, who was on fast unto death since February 19 protesting against illegal quarrying and mining in the Ganga and shifting of stone crushers from the Kumbha area, the state government, on June 15, ordered a CBI inquiry into this case.
There are allegations that Swami Nigmananda was poisoned in Haridwar District Hospital where he was forcibly admitted by the district administration since his condition during the fast had deteriorated. But the doctors who attended on him for over a month said the only toxins in his body were those that were created as a result of his prolonged fast. Swami Nigmananda had gone on a 72-day fast on an earlier occasion also and he had then been warned by the doctors not to attempt doing it again.
Swami Nigmanand was evicted from the agitation site on April 27 by district administration and was admitted to Haridwar District Hospital. On April 30, he was given an injection by a nurse in the District Hospital after which he went into coma on May 2. As his condition deteriorated, he was shifted to Doon Hospital but was later referred to Himalayan Institute Hospital, Jollygrant where too he did not regain consciousness and passed away on June 13.
Immediately after his death, the Opposition Congress Party made it an issue and started a tirade against the ruling BJP in the state. Fact is that Swami Nigmananda was not fasting against the Uttarakhand government rather he went on indefinite fast after the Nainital High Court stayed the state government’s order banning quarrying and crushing activities in the Kumbha Mela. One more fact is that all the 12 licences for stone crushing were given during the previous state Congress Government and the present BJP Government had put a ban on them after concerns raised by the seer and others. “One of the licensees went to the court and got a stay on the ban by the Nishank Government. The seer was actually protesting against this stay by the court. It was not against the Uttarakhand Government, which was constantly in touch with the fasting seer and took every step to save his life,” said BJP spokesperson Smt Nirmala Sitharaman in New Delhi on June 15.
After several rounds of litigation in the court, Matra Sadan to which Swami Nigmanand belonged won the case against illegal quarrying. But despite that the quarrying continued, forcing the young saint to observe fast unto death to save the Ganga. Meanwhile, the Haridwar district administration has constituted a medico legal board to probe into the complaint that Swami Nigmanand was administered poison while under treatment in the district Hospital. Senior officers said that further action will be taken based on the board’s report. The five member medico legal board will probe into the complaint and submit its report to the administration within 10 days. Further action in the case will be taken according to the board’s report.
The founder head of Matri Sadan Ashram Swami Shivanand has lodged a complaint against Chief Medical Superintendent (CMS) of Haridwar District Hospital Dr PK Bhatnagar and owner of Himalaya Stone Crusher Gyanesh Kumar in Kotwali police station of Haridwar on June 11 alleging that Swami Nigamanand was poisoned on April 30 during treatment.