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India


High Court steps-in, in GD Agrawal's stir; fast continues on 20th day

New Delhi, July 11 (UNI) The Uttarakhand High Court on Wednesday stepped in, in the indefinite hunger strike by noted environmentalist Swami Gyan Swaroop Sanand (Prof G D Agrawal) of Kankhal-Haridwar for issues related to the Ganga, directing the state Chief Secretary to hold talks with the agitating Swami within 12 hours.
In the national capital here many environmentalists and activists from different places gathered at the Rajghat for holding prayers for success of stir being held by the Ganga warrior for 20-days now and sought Prime Minister Narendra Modi's intervention for addressing immediately the issues being raised by the fasting Sant.
The 86-year old Swami who was forcibly evicted by the police from venue of hunger strike yesterday today filed a petition before the High Court against the police action, Swami's spokesman told UNI over telephone.
The IIT Professor turned Sanyaasi told the court in the petition that despite the fact that his hunger strike was for the cause of the Ganga and posing no threat (to anyone or law and order), he was removed forcibly by the police from Matri- Sadan, venue of the fast and his supporters were I'll treated by the police.
He said that since then he was being kept at an undisclosed place.
After hearing the petition the High Court Bench comprising Justice Rajiv Sharma and Justice Alok Singh directed the CS to hold talks with the Swami over four ongoing hydro-power projects namely--Bhagirathi, Palmanari, Lohari Nagpal and Bhero-ghati along the Ganga tributaries, within 12 hours.
The court also directed the Principal Secretary (Home) for disclosing to Swami's supports place where he is kept.
"If Swamiji is not well then he be admitted to AIIMS Rishikesh otherwise he should be escorted back to Matri-Sadan with proper security', the court directed.
Meanwhile, Waterman Dr Rajendra Singh has urged Prime Minister to ensure immediate passage of the Ganga Protection and Management Bill and stopping construction of dams along the river, as being demanded by Prof Agrawal.
Mr Singh said that the Ganga warrior had stopped all agitation programmes in the country in 2014 relaying up on Mr Modi's commitment for Ganga before the general election.
But after becoming PM, Mr Modi did nothing, none of the issues related to the Ganga have so far been addressed, moreover, around Rs 20,000 crore have been spent wastefully in the name of the river, Mr Singh added.
UNI SS SHK 2057
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