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Kazakhstani ISKCON Members Forced to Leave Homes

by (Bhakti Bhrnga) Govinda Swami

Posted November 14, 2007


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On November 4, 2007, the practitioners of the Society for Krishna Consciousness were informed that they have one week to vacate their farm. Mr. Ermek Abdykalykov, the former owner of the Krishna property, visited the Krishna farm during the Sunday services, and placed this demand upon the members of the community. He stated that since the provincial court has ruled in favor of his appeal and he has set the deadline of one week for the society to vacate the premises.

According to the ruling of the supervisory instance of the Almaty provincial court of October 23, 2007, Abdykalykov's appeal to regain possession of the land was satisfied. Thus the sale and purchase contract of 1999 with the members of the Society for Krishna Consciousness was cancelled and 116 acres of land were returned to him as a former owner. This action is an ongoing instance of the flawed judiciary and blatant breakage of rule of law of the nation.

In a previous hearing of the same court, the 116-acre land was returned to the land reserve of the Republic of Kazakhstan. The satisfaction of Abdykalykov's appeal has again shown the ability to manipulate the Kazakh judiciary for the purpose of confiscation of properties.

It should be noted that Abdykalykov's right of appeal expired 22 months ago. During his visit to the Krishna farm, Abdykalykov was accompanied by Mr. Batyr, who had previously visited the Krishna farm and had introduced himself as an "an interested party from Astana." When formally requested to identify themselves only Abdykalykov responded.

Walking freely on the property they questioned how native Kazakhs, who are Moslems, have become Hindu Krishna believers. They then emphatically declared that, "Now, finally, we will finish the Krishna Society. At that point they left without waiting for the society chairman who was on his way from the city.

On November 5, 2007 the chairman of the Krishna Society was informed by the Secretary of the Provincial Court that the decision of the October 23rd case has been written and is in the post.

Kazakh officials have repeatedly attempted to assure the world community that the Krishna land has been commissioned for usage as an orphanage. The Kazakh ambassador to the United States, Mr. E. Idrissov, presented this point during a congressional hearing in Washington in October.

The chairman of the Religious Committee, Mr. E. Tugzhanov echoed the same point in a meeting with the officials of the Krishna Society in Astana on November 1, 2007. He stated, "Our government wants this property. Do you actually think that the government can give up this land so easily?"

The Religious Committee repeatedly states that the Krishna Society was offered 5 acres of land in Talgar District as compensation for the 116 acres confiscated by the government. When asked why the government does not place its orphanage in Talgar District, and allow the Krishna Society to remain on their own property, the committee repeatedly states that the land was lost in the "courts of Kazakhstan."

But if this committee, and the Kazakh government, have raised objection to the October 23rd court decision, why is it not possible for them to understand that all other cases in regard to the Krishna issue have been the products of procedural flaw, and biased judgments.

In one Provincial Court hearing the judge questioned if the Krishna Society was a "terrorist organization." The officer of the government land committee replied yes, and, the case was ruled against the Krishna Society.

The Krishna Society has been ordered to vacate the land within one week. The Hindu practitioners are fearful that they will be subjected to violent measures to evict them from their property. It is a common practice to engage gang members or mobsters to violently evict tenants.

If this situation arises only Abdykalykov will be responsible for the violence. The Kazakh government will remain uninvolved.

Thus, the Krishna Society will be driven out by Abdykalykov's hands and later the Prosecutor's office will contest the October 23rd ruling and return the land to the Kazakh government.

That is the apparent cause of the government's escalated actions. The Krishna member will be beaten and forcefully driven away and their 116-acre property will be awarded for the noble usage as an orphanage.

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