Seer fasting over Amarnath issue falls ill

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Varanasi, Aug 13 (UNI) Kashi Sumerupeeth shankaracharya swami Narendranand Saraswati continued with his fast for the fifth consecutive day today at his Assi ashram here demanding return of land to the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB).

However, his condition deteriorated today.

Irked over the revocation of land allotment to the SASB in Jammu and Kashmir, the shankaracharya began the fast-unto-death from Saturday.

A team of doctor, who examined the shankaracharya at his ashram said he was sufferring from low blood pressure and was weak.

The shankaracharya had earlier contacted Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and President Pratibha Devisingh Patil over the Amarnath issue, however, when-there was no response from them he decided to sit on fast till his demands were met.

The organising secretary of Vishswa Hindu Parishad, Uttar Pradesh Manoj Srivastava, while expressing his concern on the deteriorating condition of the shankaracharya said no government official has so far visited the ailing saint.

Meanwhile, a large number of people including saints continued to throng at the seer's ashram extending their support to him.

On the other hand, Bharatiya Janata Party, Vishswa Hindu Parishad, Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh and Vidyarthi Parishad activists today staged ''chakka jam'' at Andhra Bridge.

Following the agitation, traffic remained affected on Varanasi-Allahabad road for several hours. The demonstrators also tried to disrupt some trains at Cantonment railway station, but were chased away by the police.

Mr Srivastava claimed that the statewide chakka jam over the Amarnath issue was successfull.

UNI JL PDM MIR BST1910

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