On a fast unto death to clean the Ganga, IITian-turned seer Swami Gyan Swaroop Sanand aka GD Agarwal breathed his last on Wednesday. Speaking to the Times of India, his assistant Swami Dayanand said that Agarwal suffered a heart-attack at around 1 pm. The 87-year-old environmentalist had started his fast on June 22 demanding a ban on mining and hydropower projects in the river Ganges.
Earlier in July, Swaroop was forcibly taken to some unknown location by the Uttarakhand police as his condition worsened at Haridwar’s Matri Sadan ashram. He was released only after Uttarakhand High Court’s orders. The high court had instructed the state government to release the environmentalist within 12 hours and find the rationale behind his demand for stalling hydroelectric projects on the Ganga. The police had taken Sanand to an unknown place. The Court ordered that the place where Sanand is kept be disclosed and a meeting between the chief secretary and Swaroop be held within 12 hours. “The Principal Secretary (Home) will be responsible for the protection of Swami Gyan Swaroop.
He is to be admitted at AIIMS, Rishikesh, for checkup and in case, he is in need for medical supervision, the state is to bear the expenses, the court instructed. “Swaroop is an 86-year-old sanyasi who has been a scientist and professor of IIT, Kanpur. He has devoted his life to preserve, protect and conserve the holy river Ganga. He has raised his voice against the construction of power projects on holy river Ganga,” the court had said.
Swaroop was a known environmentalist and had held many fasts for environment-related causes all his life.