The News Agency of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness

Kazakhstan Demands Krishna Society to Vacate by March 1st

By: on Feb. 28, 2009

On February 19th, 2009 the assistant Hakim of Almaty province, S.
Mukanov, has demanded the farm property occupied by the Krishna
Society be vacated by March 1, 2009. Mukanov emphasized that failure
to vacate will result in new court cases against the Krishna Society.

 

Mukanov visited the Krishna farm on February 14, 2009. During the
visit he demanded the directors to confirm in writing that they are
satisfied with the Kazakh government allocation of a garbage dump. He
also demanded a written statement confirming that the Society will
relocate to the dump.

 

The proposed property has been a point of serious contention for the
past ten months. It is actively used as a garbage dump that has no
water for drinking or irrigation. The property has been seen by
international observers and deemed unfit for usage.

 

Despite numerous appeals the Krishna Society has not been offered an
alternative land plot. The Kazakh government states that there is no
other land to offer the in the Republic of Kazakhstan.

 

Mukanov's order was unacceptable to the Krishna Society. He then
issued the ultimatum that the Krishna Society vacates the property by
March 1, 2009. He stated that if his demand is not satisfied new
court cases would be opened against the Krishna Society.

 

The last case against the Krishna Society was heard from October 28,
2008 till December 1, 2008. The Kazakh government argued that the
Temple and barn of the Krishna Society were illegal and moved for the
demolition of the structures. During the trial the Kazakh government
failed to present documents to support its argument.

 

In the same hearing it was found that the buildings of the Krishna
Society had been constructed and brought into service on legal
grounds. On December 1, 2008, the Kazakh government withdrew its
claim against the Krishna Society.

 

Following the case Mukanov instructed the Society to independently
search for a suitable land plot in the Iliysk district. Mukanov
promised the help of district authorities in exchanging the garbage
plot for the land plot which the Krishna Society would find suitable.

 

In December 2008 and January 2009 the Krishna Society found three
suitable plots of land in the Iliysk district. However, on January 19,
2009, neglecting the previous agreement, the Kazakh government
refused to help exchange the plots. The government officials
emphasized that the garbage dump allotted to the Society was the only
alternative.

 

The struggle of the Krishna Society has continued for the past four
years. The Kazakh government destroyed 26 homes of Hindu
practitioners and confiscated 47.5 hectare (116 acres) of legally
registered property. The land was transferred to the land reserve of
the Kazakh government for resale and the Krishna followers who were
left homeless were never given humanitarian aid or compensation.
Since the systematic demolition of the Krishna community began other
minority religious communities in Kazakhstan have had their
properties confiscated.

 

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