Yoga guru Ramdev questioned for second day in UK

Last Updated 21 September 2013, 12:37 IST

British authorities today called yoga guru Ramdev to Heathrow Airport here for a second round of questioning, a day after he was detained and quizzed by customs officials for over six hours on arriving in the UK.

According to sources, his questioning by airport officials for a second day is related to him travelling on a visitor's visa instead of a business one.

Ramdev is in Britain to chair a series of 'yoga shivirs' and talks organised by the Patanjali Yog Peeth (UK) Trust.

Some unconfirmed reports claimed he was mistaken for a terror suspect.

The UK Home Office refused to comment on an individual's questioning over immigration issues.

However, organisers of his events here claimed the questioning was related to Sanskrit books in Ramdev's possession and authorities were keen to get those translated.

"It was not clear why the yoga guru was detained for over six hours at Heathrow. He was not carrying anything with him except a small bag of personal effects. It is for the British authorities to explain why he was detained," said S K Tejarawala, Ramdev's spokesperson.

Ramdev said: "I have never done anything wrong or illegal in my life. I was detained for eight hours at the airport, but was not given any explanation. I asked them repeatedly to give me a reason for detention; but they told that they cannot disclose it to me."

Ramdev's detention has been criticised by the BJP which urged the Centre to intervene. BJP President Rajnath Singh termed the detention of the yoga guru as "serious" issue and asked the Centre to take cognisance of the matter.

One of Ramdev's events in London, scheduled for this evening, was put on hold until the situation at the airport becomes clear.

The yoga guru was to address a gathering of NRIs at the 150th Birth Anniversary celebrations of Swami Vivekananda at Lampton Park Conference Center in southwest London.
He was to be joined by high-profile speakers, including BJP parliamentarian M Venkaiah Naidu and British minister Baroness Sandip Verma.

Ramdev was then scheduled to make the keynote address at "The Future of India – Through the eyes of an NRI" event at the same conference centre tomorrow. He was expected to be joined at this event by Pakistani teenage activist Malala Yousufzai.

However, a question mark now hangs over Ramdev's planned engagements in Britain.

(Published 21 September 2013, 12:37 IST)

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