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Kazakh Ambassador assures ISKCON on temple property demolition

Written by: Staff

New Delhi, May 3 (UNI) Kazakhstan Ambassador to India Kairat Umarov today assured International Society For Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) authorities here that the threat to demolish temple property in Karasai (Almatty) would be sorted out in an amicable manner.

Talking to the media, after a two-hour session with ISKCON Governing Body Commissioner in Kazakhstan B B Govindswamy and the society's other members from India, Mr Umarov said the issue of demolishing temple property there would be taken up at the highest level.

''I would work hard for a just solution of the matter and see that it is sorted out amicably.'' Sounding optimistic after his meeting with the Kazakh Ambassador, ISKCON Governing Body Commissioner in Kazakhstan B B Govindswamy said the Ambassador agreed that demolition was not fair as it concerned the religious sentiments of the people.

''He was patient in hearing about the April 24 episode when authorities in Karasai (Almatty, Kazakhstan), at the behest of land mafia, landed at the 177-acre temple property along with bulldozers and threatened to demolish the residential areas citing legal reasons.'' ''Bhakts of the temple, who lived there, opposed the move following which the demolition was stopped. However, they said it would be done soon.'' This has created panic among the society members there, who are presently living in fear, he said.

''We took up the matter with the Foreign Affairs Ministry and the Prime Minister's Office which acted promptly and Minister of State in the PMO Prithviraj Chauhan talked to India's Ambassador in Kazakhstan along with the Kazakh Ambassador here.'' We want the issue to be sorted out early and not dragged on for long as it has created undue tension among the residents there.

''If they find anything illegalthey can fine us, but demolishing it after seven years of its construction was not fair.'' The matter is at present before the court and we have great expectations from the Kazakh President who promoted inter-faith dialogues and was organising one, for the second time, in September this year, Mr Govindswamy added.

''Basically it seems to be the work of local land mafia which thinks that with such a large property it was infringing upon their 'share'.'' UNI AN PM PC1902

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