Bharatpur: A Hindu monk named Baba Vijay Das, who has been protesting against illegal mining in Pasopa village in Bharatpur, set himself on fire. He, along with other sages and saints, has been agitating against illegal mining for the last 551 days. In a self-immolation bid, Shri Baba Vijay Das poured kerosene on the fire and ran, chanting ‘Radhe-Radhe’.
The policemen ran after him and managed to put off the fire with the help of thick blankets. Baba has been admitted to the Raj Bahadur Memorial Hospital in Bharatpur, where his condition is said to be critical as he sustained about 80 per cent burns. A video of the incident is now going viral on social media.
He, along with other sages and saints, has been agitating for the last 551 days.
— Organiser Weekly (@eOrganiser) July 20, 2022
Meanwhile, another saint named Baba Narayan Das associated with the same movement sat on the tower for 33 hours. He climbed the mobile tower from 6 am on Tuesday and, after persuasion came back down on Wednesday afternoon. He is a resident of Barsana. In view of the agitation, Divisional Commissioner Sanwarmal Verma had shut down the internet in five towns of Bharatpur.
As the area of Deeg, Kaman tehsil of Bharatpur district of Rajasthan falls in 84 Kos Parikrama Marg, the sages and saints are protesting demanding that both legal and illegal mining should be stopped here as this is a place related to religious faith where people take parikrama. For this demand, they have been agitating for 551 days.
Baba Haribol, who is leading the agitating saints, had warned of self-immolation on Sunday 17th July. He said- The time of my death has now been fixed, which no one can change. No matter how many police personnel may be deployed by the administration, on July 19, I will die for the service and protection of Brajbhoomi. Rajasthan government will be responsible for my death.
After this, there was a meeting of the sages and saints with Tourism Minister Vishvendra Singh on Monday. After the assurance of the minister, Baba had said that the meeting is held every day, but no decision is taken. Sadhus and sages claim that Kankanchal and Adi Badri mountain is a symbol of religious faith.
The Government of Rajasthan issued an order on 27 January 2005 that mining would not be done within 500 meters on either side of Braj Chaurasi Kos Parikrama Marg. An announcement was made to ban mining within 500 meters of Parikrama Marg and religious places falling in Deeg, Kaman tehsils of Bharatpur district.
The government had claimed that mining was not taking place in religious places and mountains. Nor has any mining lease been given. No mining is going on in this area, but mining continued outside 500 meters from the parikrama route. The monks and sages claim that mining work is going on even within 500 meters and the hills considered sacred are being damaged.
Sage saints allege that illegal mining is not stopping. Demanding to stop mining in Braj region, a delegation led by former Leader of Opposition of UP Pradeep Mathur met Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot in April 2021.
The CM had said – mining in the city and hill tehsil will be stopped. Adibadri and Kankanchal hills will be protected.