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Ganga warrior, on fast for 4 months, dies
From the Webdesk, 12/10/2018, New Delhi

Activist GD Agrawal, 86, who was on an indefinite fast since June 22 demanding a clean Ganga, died at the AIIMS in Rishikesh on Thursday after suffering a cardiac arrest.

He is the second person to have died while campaigning for the river in less than a decade after Swami Nigamananda Saraswati succumbed to a 114-day fast in 2011. Agarwal, who was earlier a professor in IIT-Kanpur and had taken sanyas in 2011 - he was thereafter known as Swami Gyan Swaroop Sanand - was on a diet of honey and water since June. He said here on Tuesday he would give up water and sacrifice his life. "My fast will end with my death," he said, while blaming the Centre and Uttarakhand for "failing" to clean up the Ganga and ban mining and hydropower projects. On Wednesday, he was forcibly shifted to AIIMS Rishikesh by the state government. In a video, Agrawal is seen resisting as police try to lift him up. The cops soon overcome his feeble attempts to resist and carry him to an ambulance which transports him to AIIMS.
Doctors at the hospital said that he died around 2pm on Thursday after a cardiac arrest. Agrawal's death certificate signed by Dr Venkatesh S Pal, assistant professor, general medicine, lists coronary artery disease-moderate ventricular dysfunction, degenerative vascular heart disease, systemic hypertension, starvation-dehydration, hypokalemia and hypoglycaemia and direct inguinal hernia as reasons for his death.

A letter purportedly written by the activist hours before his death dated October 11, 6.45am stated he had allowed AIIMS doctors to administer potassium to him. He also thanked the doctors for being supportive towards his "tapasya for conservation and rejuvenation of Ganga".
Agrawal had been ordained as a seer in July 2011 in Banaras under the guidance of Swami Avimukteshwaranand, the official representative of Shankracharya Swami Swaroopanand Saraswati. Avimukteshwaranand has asked the state government to give custody of Agrawal's body to Kashi Hindu University Allahabad. He has also alleged that Agrawal was murdered and an inquiry be set up to probe his death.


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