London/Thiruvananthapuram, May 5: Britain has revoked visas issued to two prominent members of organisations with right-wing leanings from Kerala after the Indian community in the UK complained against their visit.
Sasikala Teacher, Chairperson of Hindu Aikya Vedi (United Hindu Front) and N Gopalakrishnan, Director of Indian Institute of Scientific Heritage, Thiruvananthapuram, were invited to attend the first Hindu Religious Conference at Croydon in London.
The British consulate in Chennai revoked the visas issued to both after a section of the Indian community in the UK complained about their campaigns on radical Hindutva ideology, the London-based Asian Lite newspaper reported.
Community members had filed translations of the duo's YouTube speeches and other social media messages, to the authorities.
When contacted Gopalakrishnan said that he and Sasikala were asked to come to the British consulate in Chennai on April 15 and asked questions for about 45 minutes.
"Their way of asking questions and conducting the so-called interview was like imagining that we are terrorists or fundamentalists who are going to London for delivering provocative lectures," he told PTI.
"We were also asked - Whether you are intolerant towards other religions? Whether you do hate speeches?" he said.
Gopalakrishnan, a former scientist at the Council Of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), who took VRS in 2008, said he informed them that he had gone to various countries, including UK, US and Canada on several occasions.
"Without giving any documents, our passports were taken. There is no response to email or phone calls. We have no information why our passports have been held up and when we will be getting the same," he said.
Gopalakrishnan said they were granted visas three months ago, but their passports had been held up without being given any reason for the same. The consulate officials told him not to cancel his ticket.
However, not hearing from them till April 29, Gopalakrishnan said he cancelled his Emirates flight ticket and on April 30 also cancelled the Air India Trivandrum-Delhi-London flight ticket after he there was no news from the consulate.
"Due to this attitude of the embassy, we lost lot of money due to last minute cancellations," he said.