Fasting Indian yoga guru stable in hospital

AP News
Posted: Jun 10, 2011 10:07 AM
Fasting Indian yoga guru stable in hospital

An Indian yoga guru was in stable condition at a hospital Friday after his health declined on the seventh day of a hunger strike against corruption, his spokesman and the hospital said.

Baba Ramdev had lost weight, was dehydraded and had a low pulse rate, so "doctors decided to shift him to a hospital" from his north Indian ashram in Haridwar, spokesman S.K. Tijarawala said.

He started his hunger strike in New Delhi to demand the return of billions of dollars stashed abroad illegally in tax havens by companies and wealthy Indians. A police raid evicted Ramdev and thousands of his followers from a park Sunday, injuring dozens and sparking enormous public outrage.

He continued his fast at his spiritual retreat, and hundreds of Ramdev's followers watched Friday as state authorities put him in an ambulance to go to a hospital in the nearby town of Dehradun.

Ramdev's condition has stabilized and he was fully conscious, said a bulletin issued by the Himalayan Hospital later Friday.

Yogesh Chandra Sharma, a senior doctor, earlier said that Baba Ramdev had lost 12 pounds (5.5 kilograms) since he started fasting. He also said Ramdev had low blood pressure.

Ramdev's protest is part of a public push to demand government accountability after a series of corruption scandals such as improper telecoms licensing, illegal land acquisitions and irregularities in staging last year's Commonwealth Games.

Ramdev had agreed to take lime water and honey, but he refused to end his hunger strike.