A day after he gave up water and started observing ‘maun vrat’ (vow of silence), Sant Gopal Das (39), who has been on a fast-unto-death for a “nirmal” (clean) and “aviral” (free-flowing) Ganga since June 24, this year, was shifted to AIIMS Rishikesh on Wednesday.
The seer, who had begun the fast at Badrinath in Chamoli district, entered the 116th day of the fast on Wednesday. In the past few months, he had been shifted by the administration to places including Joshimath, Gopeshwar, and Rishikesh. However, on October 12, a day after environmentalist and Ganga activist Professor G D Agrawal’s death, he began fasting for the Ganga at the Haridwar-based Matri Sadan ashram where Agrawal had observed the fast.
Agrawal, who died of cardiac arrest on October 11 at AIIMS Rishikesh, had four demands — the passing of the Ganga Protection Act, scrapping of all proposed and under-construction hydropower projects on the Ganga, a total ban on sand mining in the river-bed of the Ganga in Haridwar, and the formation of a council to look into the issues related to the Ganga.
Matri Sadan seers said that Das has been continuing the fast over the same demands as Agrawal. On October 12, the administration forcefully shifted Das to AIIMS Rishikesh late in the night, a seer at Matri Sadan ashram said.
While Das returned to the ashram on Tuesday, on Wednesday the administration again took the seer to AIIMS Rishikesh.