A sadhu set himself on fire in protest over inaction against stone mining in Rajasthan’s Bharatpur district. The sadhu, Vijay Das, has been taken to Delhi for treatment, the police said, adding this condition is stable.
Seers from a group called Braj Parvat Evum Paryavaran Sanrakshan Samiti had been protesting to demand a ban on stone mining in areas considered sacred and associated with Lord Krishna’s life.
Another sadhu, Narayan Das, who climbed atop a cellular tower in protest against stone mining, was persuaded by the police to come down safely.
The Congress-ruled state government has said it would issue a notification declaring this area as forest land. This means the mines would be shifted since they can’t operate in a notified forest area. The government, however, said the operational mines have been working legally.
Some 2,500 people will lose their jobs if these units are shut down, the government said.
The sadhus have ended their protest after the government’s assurance of closing down old mines.
The opposition BJP has slammed the Ashok Gehlot government over not allegedly listening to the demands of the sadhus for a long time.
“The state government did not listen to the demand of saints and seers to stop illegal mining. A saint’s attempt of self-immolation is the result of this,” BJP leader and former Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje said.
The Rajasthan incident happened just days after a police officer was run over by a truck when he went to stop illegal mining of stones in neighbouring Haryana.
The truck driver has been arrested. The horrifying incident captured the terror of the mining mafia in Haryana.