Social activist Swami Agnivesh passes away

Social activist and well-known Arya Samaj leader Swami Agnivesh passed away on Friday at the Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences in New Delhi. He was 80.

He was critically ill and was hospitalised due to liver cirrhosis. He was put on ventilatory support on Tuesday due to multiple organ failure.

Born on September 21, 1939, the 80-year-old activist was a former MLA from Haryana. He was best known for his work against bonded labour through the Bonded Labour Liberation Front, which he founded in 1981.

Swami Agnivesh served as the president of the World Council of Arya Samaj, which is the highest international body of the Arya Samaj movement originally established by Dayanand Saraswat.

He had also served as the chairperson of the United Nations Voluntary Trust Fund on Contemporary Forms of Slavery from 1994 to 2004.

Senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor expressed shock over the passing of Swami Agnivesh. He took to the Twitter account and tweeted, “I am shocked and saddened by his passing. A man of vigour and conviction, he never looked, sounded or behaved his age! The country is diminished by his passing & I mourn with the millions whose rights he fought to uphold. Om Shanti.”