Sant Gopal Das’ father alleges that the Ganga activist suspected the Modi government was trying to ‘get rid of him’.
New Delhi: Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLA Somnath Bharti Friday slammed Prime Minister Narendra Modi for not initiating an inquiry into the disappearance of Ganga activist Sant Gopal Das who reportedly went missing from a Dehradun hospital on 4 December.
Bharti also alleged that Modi wanted to “finish” all the activists struggling for the river.
“Either Modiji should resign, or he should find Sant Gopal Das,” Bharti said at a press conference held at AAP headquarters.
The 40-year-old activist, who was on a fast-unto-death for a clean Ganga since 24 June, was admitted to All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in the national capital after his health deteriorated. The hospital said Das was discharged on 4 December.
Das was then admitted to Dehradun-based Doon Hospital on the same night, confirmed the local police. The Doon Hospital, however, said that Das left the same evening.
His father, Shamsher Singh, and Bharti camped outside AIIMS premises on 5 and 6 December to demand answers over his disappearance.
“Uttarakhand is ruled by a BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) government, they’re in power at the Centre, AIIMS falls under their purview, as does the Delhi police. I will mince no words, if they can’t find him – Modiji is responsible for his disappearance,” Bharti added.
Singh last met his son on 2 December when he visited him at AIIMS. He expressed his deep dissatisfaction regarding the explanations offered to him about his son’s disappearance.
“How do I believe them? There are so many inconsistencies in their story,” said Singh.
“First they said he left of his own volition. If so, then why did he need an escort? Then they claimed they dropped him off in the middle of a street in Dehradun,” said Singh.
“If he had recovered and wanted to leave, then why was he admitted to a hospital?” asked Singh.
Singh, who hails from Panipat, said all he wanted was for his voice to reach Modi so that inquiry into the disappearance could begin in the earnest.
‘Stay in Delhi hurting Central government’
Singh claimed that Das wrote to communicate with him since he had taken a vow of silence. He shared a copy of the text with ThePrint which Das purportedly wrote.
The text read, “My stay in Delhi is hurting the Central government.” Singh said Das suspected that a conspiracy against him was afoot.
Bharti said Modi’s behaviour was in keeping with his attitude towards Ganga activists. He added that the prime minister’s approach towards cleaning the Ganga was nothing but a “deception”.
“What does someone who stays in Delhi know about the Ganga?” he asked.
“This is not the first time such a thing has happened. Modiji khatam karna chahte hain un sab ko jo Ganga ke liye sangharsh karte hain (Modi wants to finish those who agitate for the river Ganga),” said Bharti.
In October, the death of Ganga crusader G.D. Agrawal, who was on a fast-unto-death, stirred up a storm for the Modi government.
The Namami Gange project, to clean up the Ganga, is one of the Modi government’s flagship initiatives.