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The only Hindu temple in Russia faces threat of demolition

By Sheetal Patel     Dec 24, 2012 in World
Russia's biggest Vedic Cultural Centre housing the country's largest Hindu temple is facing demolition by January 15, 2013 in St Petersburg, the hometown of President Vladimir Putin.
The ISKCON monks announced that the Hindu temple was facing closure by the Russian government, a year after the country had sought ban of Bhagvad Gita.
As Russian President Vladimir Putin arrives in India on 24 December 2012 for negotiations with the Government of India; there are hardly any chances that the issue of ISKCON would be discussed because it was followed already by foreign ministry.
Indian ambassador to Russia Ajai Malhotra has asked the Moscow authorities to give an extension to a temporary temple which is set to expire on December 31, 2012, until they complete the construction of a Vedic cultural centre.
As reported, when asked about the proposed demolition, Russian ambassador to India Alexander Kadakin dismissed fears of demolition. However, Iskcon monk Madanmohan Das said the demolition order has not been cancelled, so the temple is due to come down in January, because the authorities said it "violates the urban building code" and has no legal grounds for existence.
Moscow’s Mayor Sergey Sobyanin had also ordered to cut down the permanent temple project, which was included by Delhi CM Sheila Dikshit and former Moscow mayor Yuri Luzhkov in the joint declaration back in 2006 for cultural cooperation between these cities.
In the year 2004, ISKCON temple in Moscow was demolished and another plot was offered to ISKCON group for building the temple. However, this offer was again withdrawn after the members of Russian Orthodox Church had protested against building plans of the temple.
In 2011, ban on Bhagvad Gita by Russia was also discussed in Lok Sabha and Parliament had asked unanimously to Russia for preventing the ban. The issue of demolition would hamper the bilateral relations once more.
More about Hindutemple, Russia, president Vladimir Putin
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