An Indian politician ended up in the hospital after drinking water from a polluted holy river to show it was safe

An Indian politician ended up in the hospital after drinking water from a polluted holy river to show it was safe
A still from a video of Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann drinking a glass of water from the Kali Bein rivulet on July 17, 2022.Aam Aadmi Party/Twitter
  • An Indian politician was sickened after drinking from a sacred river to show it was safe.
  • Officials said there was no link between the water and Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann's hospital visit.

An Indian leader was taken to the hospital after drinking water from a sacred river in an attempt to show it was clean and safe, according to local reports.

Bhagwant Mann, chief minister of the Punjab region, was filmed drinking a whole glass of water from the Kali Bein, a rivulet that is considered holy to Sikhs, according to The Indian Express.

According to the Express, Mann was trying to demonstrate the effectiveness of a 22-year project to clean up the river. While there he announced a wider project to clean up rivers and drains statewide, India Today reported.

Mann's Aam Admi Party tweeted the footage on Sunday, writing in Punjabi about the cleaning project and the rivulet's holy associations.

Two days later, Mann went to a Delhi hospital, the Express reported.


Officials denied any connection between the hospital visit and the water, saying it was a routine checkup, according to Indian TV network NDTV.

But, citing unnamed sources, the Express reported that the illness was caused by the water. Mann developed a severe stomachache and had to be airlifted for tests at the hospital, the outlet reported.

Mann was discharged late on Wednesday and, according to a tweet by journalist Gagandeep Singh, was scheduled for a meeting with officals on Thursday.

The Kali Bein is considered holy because it is believed that the founder of Sikhism, Guru Nanak, bathed in its water and achieved englightenment there.

In 2000, the environmentalist Baba Balbir Singh Seechewal led a campaign to see the highly-polluted waterway cleaned up, The Indian Express reported.


The project saw significant early success, which has since slowed, it said.