Granada man ends India hunger strike

LAST UPDATED: 12 Mar, 2011 @ 08:57
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A GRANADA man has ended his 13-day hunger strike in India after the country’s authorities finally allowed him to buy land to build sporting facilities for vegetarian children.

Juan Manuel Rojas, 58, started his protest on September 26 after the regional government of north western state Rajhastan denied him permission to buy the land in the village of Pushkar for a football pitch and training facilities.

They claimed under Indian national law foreigners are not allowed to purchase land in the subcontinent.

But government officials in New Delhi announced on October 9 they will allow the deal Señor Rojas had with a local land owner to go through. He will now pay three million Indian rupees (58,000 euros) for the land, which he claims will benefit 400 children in the area.

Speaking after ending his protest, Señor Rojas said: “Even though I spent 13 days on the hunger strike, I was mentally prepared for 50.”

Señor Rojas, a former air traffic controller, now hopes to train the children to become professional footballers.

“Our aim is to create the best football team on the planet.

“There is not going to be an opportunity quite like this.

Within five years we will be the champions of India,” Señor Rojas added from the public hospital in Pushkar where he had been force fed through an intravenous drip since the first days of his hunger strike.

He refused to unveil the methods he will use to train the children, all vegetarian and aged between four and 20. “In case they are copied,” he added.

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