Haridwar: Washing its hands off Swami Nigamanand’s death, the Uttarakhand government on Tuesday held the supporters of the Swami responsible for his death.

Clarifying the stand of the state administration, Haridwar District Magistrate Dr R Meenakshisundaram said, “The Saint remained on fast for nearly 115 days and his condition was worsening day by day. In order to stop him from fasting, the district administration asked his aide Swami Shivanand requesting him to end his fast but in vain.”

“Nigamanand hunger strike to end the mining and quarrying in Kumbh region was illegal,” she added.

The District Magistrate elaborated Nigamanand was on a hunger-strike despite the court dismissing the plea against mining.

The District Magistrate also defended the district administration stating Swami Shivanand was being approached by administration to end fast-unto-death, but their words were not taken seriously. Later on, the administration did interfere with his fast though the matter was subjudice.

Hence all those people, who despite court’s order, asked Nigamanand to continue the fast are responsible for his death.

“A proper investigation in the case will take place and appropriate action will be taken accordingly," she said.

Medical board to probe death

Meanwhile, in order to dispel confusion over the death of the Swami, the Haridwar administration has decided to set up a medical board to ascertain the exact cause of his death. The five member board of expert doctors would submit its report within 10 days.

“The Matri Sadan has registered complaint about the death of Nigamanand. A Medico Legal Board has been set up by the district administration to probe the allegations of poisoning Nigamanand. It would examine the whole process of Nigamanand's treatment and would also record statements of those staffs and doctors attending on the saint. The district police would carry further investigations after the board submits its report,” District Magistrate said, adding Nigamanand was referred to Jolly Grant in a critical condition.

On the question of force feeding to Nigmanand, she said, “The saints of Matri Sadan had lodged complaint before Human Right Commission and other organizations when the force feeding was done to Swami Dayanand.”

FSL to probe seer’s death

Speeding up the investigations, now Forensic Science Laboratory, Agra unit will help clear the doubts over Swami Nigamanand’s death.

The step was initiated as Swami’s post-mortem report was quite unclear and the reasons for his death were not ascertained.

On the other hand, to materialise the claims of giving poison to Swami, Superintendent of Police has assigned the case to Inspector Mangalore for further investigations.

Swami Nigamanand, who was on fast for nearly four months demanding immediate stopping of quarrying in Ganga and shifting of Himalaya stone crusher from Kumbh mela area, died on Monday in Himalayan Institute of Medical Sciences at Jolly Grant.

Nigamanand had begun his fast on February 19 and was in coma since May 2.

A post-mortem of Swami Nigamanand, conducted in view of the complaints of poisoning him by his fellow sadhus of the ashram, did not clear the details.

(JPN/ Bureau)