The News Agency of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness

ISKCON Kazakhstan Appeals to Keep Original Plot of Land

By: for ferghana.ru on Sept. 19, 2009

On September 16, 2009 the Krishna Society appealed to the Almaty Oblast deputy Hakim, S. Mukanov to allot the Society the 15-hectare land plot that the society has occupied and developed for the past ten years.

The Kazakhstan government destroyed 26 homes of Hindu practitioners of the community. Their land plots were confiscated. The owners of the destroyed houses were left homeless and never offered compensation or humanitarian aid. All of the land plots have been resold by the Kazakh government.

The Kazakh government also confiscated the 47.7 hectares (116 acres) legally registered property of the Krishna Society. This is the property where the only Krishna Temple in Kazakhstan exists. The claim for the confiscation is forgery but this point has never been proved in court. In both cases there are more than 40 examples of violation of due process and rule of law.

The Kazakh government has been requested by numerous organizations to address the issue of the Krishna Society. In response the Krishna Society has been offered a garbage dump and other unusable land plots. The Society refused to accept these offers.

As a result, in October 2008 the government began a case demanding the demolition of the Krishna Temple and the cowshed of the society. During the trial the Kazakh government failed to support it’s arguments and had to withdraw the claim.

In 2009 the Kazakh government instructed the Krishna Society to independently search for land plots with the assurance that district authorities would assist the Society in exchanging the suitable plots for the garbage dump. During the past 5 months the Krishna Society has located 13 suitable land plots but the Kazakh government has not approved any of these plots.

The government now demands the Krishna Society to accept 5-hectares of an abandoned agriculture field. The field has no access road, is on the other side of a creek, and has no public water or electrical supply. The Kazakh officials have suggested the Krishna Society build a bridge to access the property.

This particular plot was a portion of the original 47.7-hectare farm of the Krishna Society. The government is offering 5 hectares of inaccessible wasteland within one kilometer of the property that the society has invested hundreds of thousands of dollars to develop over the past ten years.

The Kazakh authorities persist in their attempts to banish the Krishna Society from the property that it has occupied, cultivated, developed, and worshipped at, for the past ten years.

2010 is a notable year for the Republic of Kazakhstan. It commemorates acceptance of the chairmanship of OSCE. It also commemorates the sixth year since the Kazakh government began the campaign to destroy the farm community of the Society for Krishna Consciousness in Kazakhstan.

In light of the 2010 Kazakhstan Chairmanship of OSCE the resolve of the Krishna Society issue would be a practical step in demonstrating Kazakhstan's positive will in the human dimension.

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