Swami Nigamanand was given ‘bhu samadhi' on the Matri Sadan premises in Haridwar in the presence of a large number of sadhus and leaders of the ruling BJP and the Congress on Thursday.

Congress MLA from Tehri Kishore Upadhyay sought the resignation of Uttarakhand Chief Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank for failing to save the life of Nigamanand, while a large number of BJP activists burnt an effigy of Union Minister of State for Environment and Forests Jairam Ramesh in Haldwani accusing his Ministry of having given permission for mining on the Ganga riverbed.

Kin threaten fast

The district administration faced a tough time, with family members of Nigamanand threatening to undertake an indefinite fast if they were not handed over the body.

“The permission for ‘bhu samadhi' was given to Matri Sadan after hearing out Nigamanand's family members and seeking the opinion of the All India Akhara Parishad and the District Government Council ( DGC). The Parishad and the DGC opined that Nigamanand should be given ‘bhu samadhi' as he was a sanyasi and all his family rights stood nullified after he took diksha,” Haridwar District Magistrate Meenakshi Sundaram said.

The family had been given written orders about the ‘bhu samadhi' and they could approach an appropriate court for relief, Mr. Sundaram said.

Samples taken

Earlier, a second specimen of viscera was removed from Nigamanand's body by a team of doctors in the presence of representatives of Matri Sadan and a magistrate. The entire proceedings were videographed and the samples would be sent for analysis, Mr. Sundaram said.

Swami Shivanand, head of Matri Sadan, hoped the CBI probe would unravel the truth. He had been alleging that Nigamanand was poisoned at the Haridwar district hospital.

Amongst the VIPs who paid homage to Nigamanand include Maneka Gandhi, local MP and Union Minister of State for Agriculture and Food Processing Industries Harish Rawat and the local MLA and Uttarakhand Tourism Minister Madan Kaushik.

Speaking to journalists, Ms. Gandhi said the “sacrifice of Nigamanand should act as a catalyst for all to save the holy Ganga.”

Nigamanand, who was on fast since February 19 at Matri Sadan seeking a ban on quarrying in the Ganga in Kumbh area, was shifted to the district government hospital after his health deteriorated on April 27.

He was shifted to the Himalayan Institute Hospital Trust hospital in Dehra Dun in a state of coma on May 2 and was declared dead on June 13.

The article was corrected for an error.