Russia`s largest Hindu temple facing demolition

Last Updated: Friday, March 30, 2012 - 18:49

Moscow: Russia`s biggest Vedic Cultural
Centre housing the country`s largest Hindu temple is facing
demolition in St Petersburg, the hometown of President-elect
Vladimir Putin, as a court has ordered its "eviction" from the
leased premises.

"Following an arbitration court decision on Thursday
(yesterday), the biggest Hindu Temple of Russia will now be
demolished," Chairman of the Centre Suren Karapetyan said,
appealing to Presidents of India and Russia to provide "urgent
help".

"We are expecting some kind of intervention from the
Indian government as we are preserving the Indian culture and
traditions in Russia. We appeal to Russian President Dmitry
Medvedev to help us in our cause and save the cultural centre
and the temple from being demolished," Karapetyan said.

"We are not getting justice and we are being illegally
thrown out, we had a lease agreement of 49 years," he said.
The lease deal was signed in 1992 with the state-run
federal research institute, now converted into JSC
"GosNIIkhimanalit" Joint Stock Company.

The federal arbitration court of the North-West district
in St Petersburg has upheld the decision of 13 arbitration
appeal court about the cancellation of the lease agreement
between the Local Hindu Religious Organisation "Vedic Society
of Spiritual Development" and JSC "Gosniikhimanalit".

"The court has refused to save the temple and has ordered
the eviction of the Hindu Temple from leased premises,"
Karapetyan said.

The property owners of the eight-storey building
"Another World" have terminated the lease deal and managed to
seek the court`s order for the centre`s eviction and which
would mean closing down of the largest temple in Russia.

"Vedic culture centre is involved in promoting the
ancient Indian traditions, including Sanskrit and Yoga
studies, among the local followers of Hinduism and had not
violated any point of the 49-year lease deed signed in 1992
... but its very existence is now in danger," Karapetyan said.

"This could be the part of the anti-Hindu campaign by a
section of Russian Orthodox Christian Church... after
their demand to seek the ban on Bhagwad Gita (was rejected),
otherwise I don`t understand the move for premature
termination of the lease," Karapetyan added.

The Hindus of Russia had repeatedly sought intervention
of Prime Minister Putin in January but the request had gone in
vain. The new owner of the building leased to the temple is a
close relative of Putin, Karapetyan claimed.

The community members had also written to the President
of India for urgent help.

PTI



First Published: Friday, March 30, 2012 - 18:46

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