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Blair briefs Hindus harrassment to Kazakh President

Written by: Staff
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London, Nov 21 (UNI) The British Prime Minister Tony Blair today raised the subject of harassment of Kazakh Hindus during his meeting with the President of Kazakhstan.

Reportedly, 60 riot police and bulldozers assembled inside a Hindu temple in Kazakhstan and demolished five Hindu houses.

The Kazakh Government is planning to bulldoze a Hindu temple tomorrow in the Karasai district as British Parliamentarians led by Ashok Kumar launched a campaign to save Kazakh Hindus and tabled an Early Day Motion in the House of Commons.

''The House condemns the harassment and discrimination against Hindu minorities in Kazakhstan. Hindus in the Karasai district have had land, barns and cows confiscated, have been threatened with demolition of their houses, and denied the right to own land,'' the motion tabled before the House said.

It also noted that Kazakh Hindus who applied for ownership of their houses were asked to declare that they were not Hindus, while non-Hindus who made similar applications were immediately granted ownership rights.

Forum 18, a human rights website has linked the Kazakh President's brother to the demolition and land-grab attempt suggesting that the value of the land could be the reason why Hindus are being harassed and subject to human rights violations.

''The human rights violation against Kazakh Hindus has caused worldwide condemnation,'' said Sudarshan Bhatia, President of the National Council of Hindu Temples, UK, who is leading the Defend Kazakh Hindus campaign.

He also called upon the President to intervene to stop action to demolish houses belonging to the followers of Hinduism, facilitate legal registration of properties owned by Hindus and allowing them to occupy their homes and worship freely.

A demonstration is being planned outside the London Stock Exchange tomorrow where the President of Kazakhstan is expected to attend an event to list Kazakh shares.

''We ask for a complete review of decisions made against Hindus in the court call upon the President to order the Karasai District Hakimat to have all cases against the Kazakh Hindus withdrawn and basic human rights values restored,'' Hindu Forum of Britain President Ishwer Tailor said.

British MPs from all parties have supported the campaign.

UNI XC DKS PM0101

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