Baba Ramdev at Heathrow: “No Indian citizen with a valid visa entering the UK should be held in this way,” says Keith Vaz

Baba Ramdev & British MP Keith Vaz

It has been alleged by British immigration officials that Baba Ramdev’s passport had been stamped by Delhi immigration officials with a code identifying him as a terrorist (similar to an Interpol red alert). British immigration therefore held Baba Ramdev for eight hours of questioning and were about to deport him back to India when British MP Keith Vaz, who is Chairman of the Home Affairs Select Committee, intervened and got Baba Ramdev freed to enter England and, later, continue his journey to the US. There is now concern about Baba Ramdev entering the US, as the alleged red alert will be visible to US immigration officials on their scanners. So Hindus leaders in the UK and US have made arrangements to have Baba Ramdev met at the US airport by VIPs who can identify him to US officials. — Editor

Baba RamdevSwami Ramdevji, 47, also known as Baba Ramdev, was stopped by officials at Heathrow Airport on Friday.

He arrived ahead of a 1,500-strong yoga class he was due to lead in Glasgow on Monday.

Ramdevji was given a 24-hour visa and instructed to return to Terminal Five on Saturday afternoon.

His supporters feared he would be told to leave but immigration officials ruled he could stay.

He arrived at the airport on Saturday with Leicester East MP Keith Vaz, and was mobbed by more than 150 supporters.

In the melee Ramdevji, who was dressed in sandals and an orange robe, nearly lost his clothing.

‘Matter of concern’

Emerging from a brief meeting with Heathrow officials, Mr Vaz said the guru was now allowed to stay.

He added: “However, it is still a matter of concern to his many supporters and thousands of people who couldn’t be here today that he should have been treated in the way he was treated when he arrived at Heathrow.

“No Indian citizen with a valid visa entering the UK for lawful purposes should be held in this way.

“This is a very serious situation that occurred.”

Mr Vaz said he would pursue a fuller explanation later.

Ramdevji, who is only in the UK until Tuesday, said he had no problem with the UK government and added he would like to come back for up to three months.

Supporters have claimed he could have been targeted by the Indian authorities for speaking out about corruption back home.

The organisers of his visit said they had contacted Hindu temples throughout the UK asking for people to protest at the airport against the move.

Worldwide following

Swami Ramdevji has been told he can stay in the UK

Ramdevji reportedly has an 85 million-strong worldwide following and his own television channel in India.

He has run prominent campaigns in India, including hunger strikes, protesting against corruption in government.

A trust run by Ramdevji bought the island of Little Cumbrae just off the coast of Largs in south west Scotland and established it as a yoga centre two years ago.

A Home Office spokeswoman said: “We would not comment on individual cases.”

Media reports in India said Ramdevji was detained because he arrived at Heathrow on a visitor’s visa instead of a business visa.

His spokesman S.K. Tejarawala was reported as saying: “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.” – BBC, 21 September 2013

Baba Ramdev & Dr Subramanian Swamy