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Political blame game begins after Swami's death

Jun 15, 2011 10:39 PM IST India India

New Delhi: Swami Nigamanand's death remains shrouded in mystery. While a pathology report said he may have died of pesticide poisoning with a high phosphate content, the autopsy report, however, ruled out the possibility. The Swami died away from the media spotlight, after 69 days of fasting to stop mining on the banks of the river Ganga.

Nigamanand's followers have now demanded for a second post mortem to be conducted on the body. The government, however, refuses to committ to such a demand.

Matri Sadan Head priest Kailashanand said, "The swami has been killed in police custody by the mining mafia."

The District Magistrate of Haridwar, Minakshi Sundaram, said that the police and a team of doctors have been roped in to probe the death of the Swami.

"A team of doctors and police have been asked to conduct the probe," Sundaram said.

Swami Nigamanand was fasting against illegal mining being carried out on the banks of Ganga near Haridwar. When his health deteriorated in the last week of April, he was admitted to a government hospital by the district administration, where died on Monday.

Unlike the Baba Ramdev's fast, politicians and civil society members are reacting to Nigamanad's fast after his death, leading to the start of a blame game.

Congress General Secretary Digvijay Singh said, "No one paid heed to a Swami who was fasting for a noble cause."

"To accuse the Uttarakhand government as having done nothing is just seeming like a part of a larger ploy to destabilise the Uttarakhand government," said BJP Spokesperson Nirmala Sitaram.

Under pressure from all sides, the state government has now ordered a CB-CID probe into Nigamanand's death and his viscera has been sent for further investigations to verify allegations of poisoning.