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Save Ganga crusader G D Agarwal dies after long fast

Press Trust of India  |  Rishikesh/New Delhi 

activist G D died at a hospital on Thursday, 111 days after he began a fast for a pollution-free Ganga. He was 86.

Agarwal, who began his hunger strike on June 22 demanding government measures to save the Ganga, died of a heart attack at the of medical Sciences in Uttarakhand's Rishikesh, its said.

The activist was admitted to hospital on Wednesday after he even gave up water.

Local authorities imposed section 144 of the CrPC, which bans the assembly of people, around the venue of the protest and he was picked up and taken to hospital.

Dr said suffered from hernia, high blood pressure and coronary artery disease and the fast worsened his condition.

G D Agarwal, also known as Swami Gyanswaroop Sanand in his later years, had been a at the in Kanpur and served on the

He was protesting against hydroelectric projects on the Ganga's tributaries and had demanded a law to protect the river.

Earlier, he had rejected a plea from Haridwar Nishank to end the fast, following assurances on his demands from the Centre.

had been campaigning for the Ganga for several years and undertook a similar fast earlier as well.

A day before Agarwal died, and said almost all his demands had been met and he had written a letter to the activist to give up his fast.

On Tuesday, the Centre came out with a gazette notification stating the minimum environmental flow that is to be maintained at various locations on the Ganga.

Gadkari said draft legislation on protecting the Ganga had also been sent to the Cabinet for approval.

The termed Agarwal's death an irreparable loss to the nation.

He said Agarwal's contribution towards the environment and the Ganga will be greatly remembered.

Reacting to the Ganga crusader's death, Aam Aadmi Party said an "insensitive government" was "waiting for him to die.

Senior and former expressed anguish over the activist's "martyrdom".

"He was an indefatigable crusader not only for Nirmal Ganga but also for Aviral Ganga (free-flowing Ganga). It was my privilege and good fortune to be able to implement some of his important suggestions to ensure uninterrupted flow in the Ganga and its tributaries in Uttarakhand, Ramesh said.

A few years ago, the activist adopted Swami Gyanswaroop Sanand as his name.

As he continued the fast continued, on September 9, Agarwal announced he will give up water in October.

The officials then talked with him and expressed support for his cause.

Agarwal had pledged his organs for medical research at the AIIMS in Rishikesh, the said.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, October 11 2018. 23:15 IST