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HindustanTimes Wed,01 Oct 2014

Ramdev, 450 others asked to return from Gangotri

Prithviraj Singh, Hindustan Times  Dehradun, July 17, 2014
First Published: 14:09 IST(17/7/2014) | Last Updated: 15:38 IST(17/7/2014)
Yoga guru Ramdev and his 450 followers, including a sizable number of children, were asked to return to Gangotri from Bhojwasa near Gaumukh by the Uttarkashi district administration on Thursday following reports of bad weather conditions.
 
Ramdev took the troupe from his Patanjali Yog Peeth to Gangotri for a special yoga camp on Tuesday defying warnings of heavy rains by the state government as well as the weather department.
 
After heavy rains hit Uttarakhand, thousands have been stranded in Gangotri including Ramdev and his troupe. Rains lashed Uttarakhand again on Thursday and the Met department has predicted more rain for another 24 hours.
 
According to C Ravishankar, district magistrate of Uttarkashi, directions were issued in 'normal course' not out of any panic.
 
"Around 150 children and other persons who had gone to Gaumukh are safe and they have been issued directions to return and are expected to be back anytime soon," said Ravishankar.
 
He said the directions were not issued out of fear for their safety but as a part of general practice by the administration.
 
Sources, however, said there is no practice of issuing directives to pilgrims unless there is some urgency.
 
Ramdev had been asked to return by afternoon but they had not reached Gangotri till 12.30pm even though the troupe had already started trekking down.
 
The district administration has also decided not to allow new lot of tourists to leave for Bhojwasa or Gaumukh from Gangotri after reports of bad weather.
 
"Fresh lot will not be allowed unless weather condition gets normal and Ramdev comes back with the children and all others" said Ravishankar.
 
Uttarakhand director general of police BS Sidhu had on Wednesday warned Ramdev of legal action if anything happened to the 450 children.
 
The children study at Ramdev's Patanjali Yog Peeth. About 150 of were taken to Gaumukh, which is located in the most difficult part of Gangorti-Gaumukh area.
 
Ramdev and his team were provided three policemen and two forest guards for assistance. 

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