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Indian yoga guru breaks nine-day fast against corruption

By Harmeet Singh, CNN
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Baba Ramdev broke the fast with some orange juice, a spiritual leader says
  • Television footage shows the yoga trainer sipping what Shankar said was fruit juice
  • Ramdev is hospitalized after his health worsens this week

(CNN) -- Famed Indian yoga guru Baba Ramdev broke his hunger strike Sunday, nine days after it started to protest government corruption.

Baba Ramdev broke the fast with some orange juice, said spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, who was persuading the guru to end the strike.

Television footage showed the yoga trainer sipping what Shankar said was fruit juice from a steel tumbler.

The guru sat on a hospital bed at Dehradun in northern India surrounded by Hindu religious leaders. He was wearing saffron robes.

Earlier this week, Ramdev was hospitalized after his health worsened because of fasting, doctors said.

His campaign comes in the wake of a series of high-profile alleged scandals that have rocked the current administration and investor confidence in Asia's third largest economy.

In April, a former government minister was among a dozen defendants charged in a multibillion-dollar telecom scandal.

Andimuthu Raja, a former telecommunication minister, is accused of being part of a scheme involving the underselling of cell phone licenses at the height of India's lucrative telecom boom.

Ramdev has also come under fire.

Millions watch his televised yoga lessons, through critics have slammed his techniques and his claims that his therapies can cure cancer and other diseases.

Members of India's Congress party have accused him of deceiving his followers and have questioned his wealthy lifestyle.