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In the News:
Hare Krishna abuse cases settled for $9.5mn

Posted May 29, 2005

A United States bankruptcy court has approved a plan for the Hare Krishna organisation to pay $ 9.5 million in damages to former students of the spiritual movement's boarding schools, who had alleged sexual, physical and emotional abuse during the 1970s and 80s.

Six Hare Krishna temples had sought bankruptcy protection in 2002 because of the abuse claims.

The US Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California approved the plan in which a total of 550 plaintiffs will receive amounts ranging from $ 2,500 to 50,000 each.

The movement's Washington-area centre, the New Hastinapur Temple in Potomac, though not among those that had sought bankruptcy, is voluntarily contributing to the settlement, organisation spokesman Anuttama Dasa said.

The Hare Krishna Movement has about 100,000 members in the US and one million worldwide, Dasa said adding, the settlement eventually would allow the US organisation to emerge from bankruptcy.

"This is a positive outcome for what is a very sad situation," he said.