Al-Qaida suspect free to leave jail wants to stay for yoga class

An al-Qaida suspect free to leave his Indian prison on bail refused because he'd signed up for a prison yoga class.

Mohammed Afroz says he wants to complete the course in Bombay's Arthur Road prison.

He'd been accused of conspiring to launch aeroplane attacks at the House of Commons.

Police have been ordered to drop the terrorism charges against him because of lack of evidence. The 28-year-old may face new charges but a judge in Bombay has ordered his release until these are brought.

Authorities say he's been one of the most well-behaved prisoners they've seen at the jail.

The Sandhya Varta newspaper quotes him as telling his jailors: "It would be absolutely criminal to leave the course half-way. Yoga has given me such a kick out of life. I want to use it to serve mankind after I get out of here."

A senior police official was quoted as saying: "It is difficult to believe that this is the man who has been accused of such violent crimes. Afroz is one of most well-behaved prisoners we have seen."

Dinesh Godhke, the prison's yoga instructor, said: "His calmness is exemplary. He says the course has made him feel as if staying in jail was a vacation of sorts."

Bombay police claimed he confessed to being part of an al-Qaida plot to blow up the parliaments in India and Britain and the Rialto Tower in Australia.

Police teams sent to Australia, Britain and the US have failed to collect any corroborative evidence.