Swami Agnivesh passes away at 80 in Delhi; political activist was suffering from liver ailment
The political activist was in news recently over his falling out with the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party and opposition to the Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019, and the proposed NRC and NPR exercices
Arya Samaj leader and political activist Swami Agnivesh passed away Friday at the Institute of Liver and Billary Sciences (ILBS) in New Delhi after suffering from a muti-organ failure. He was 80.
The social activist was admitted to the ILBS on Tuesday in a critical condition for treatment of liver cirrhosis and had been on a ventilator since then, News18 reported.
"He was suffering from liver cirrhosis and died today due to multi-organ failure as his condition deteriorated and he went into cardiac arrest at 6 pm," a spokesperson of the hospital said.
Resuscitation was attempted but he passed away at 6.30 pm, he said.
Agnivesh was known for his campaign against bonded labour through his foundation Bandhua Mukti Morcha (Bonded Labor Liberation Front). He had also been active in politics. He contested and won Haryana Assembly elections in 1977 and even held a ministerial post in the state government. However, he resigned from his post within two years over differences with the government and founded his own party Arya Sabha. He was also actively associated with the India Against Corruption movement lead by Anna Hazare in 2011 to seek implementation of the Jan Lokpal Bill.
However, in more recent years he was in news over his falling out with the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party. He had angered Hindutva groups with his comments claiming that the Amarnath Shrine pilgrimage was nothing but a "religious deception".
Swami Agnivesh had also supported the protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the proposal to implement National Register of Citizens (NRC) and National Population Register (NPR), and taken part in several rallies across India. He was among the 720 prominent citizens who had spoken against the amendments to the citizenship law in 2019 before it was passed in the Parliament, and the proposed NRC.
He was allegedly attacked twice by BJP workers over his anti-government stance on various issues. On 17 July 2018, the activist was on his way to Litipara area in Pakur district of Jharkhand to participate in an event organised by the Pahariya tribal community when he was attacked allegedly by some BJP youth wing supporters.
“Agnivesh has been constantly issuing statements that are against the true spirit of nationalism. He supports Naxals. He gives statements in support of patthalgarhi, which has been twisted from its original purpose to a form of resistance against the state. Agnivesh had come here to instigate tribals at the behest of agents of the Church," The Indian Express had quoted one of the men accused of assaulting the political activist as saying.
A month later on 17 August, Agnivesh was allegedly heckled and assaulted near the BJP headquarters in Delhi, when he was on his way to pay homage to former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee there. He had alleged that the attackers were BJP workers.
With inputs from PTI
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