Russia largest Hindu temple facing demolition

Moscow: Russia`s biggest Vedic Cultural Centre housing the country`s largest Hindu temple is facing demolition in St Petersburg, the hometown of President-elect Vladimir Putin, as a court has ordered its "eviction" from the leased premises.

"Following an arbitration court decision on Thursday, the biggest Hindu Temple of Russia will now be demolished," Chairman of the Centre Suren Karapetyan said, appealing to Presidents of India and Russia to provide "urgent help".

"We are expecting some kind of intervention from the Indian government as we are preserving the Indian culture and traditions in Russia. We appeal to Russian President Dmitry Medvedev to help us in our cause and save the cultural centre and the temple from being demolished," Karapetyan told PTI.

"We are not getting justice and we are being illegally thrown out, we had a lease agreement of 49 years," he said.

The lease deal was signed in 1992 with the state-run federal research institute, now converted into JSC "GosNIIkhimanalit" Joint Stock Company.

The federal arbitration court of the North-West district in St Petersburg has upheld the decision of 13 arbitration appeal court about the cancellation of the lease agreement between the Local Hindu Religious Organisation "Vedic Society of Spiritual Development" and JSC "Gosniikhimanalit". "The court has refused to save the temple and has ordered the eviction of the Hindu Temple from leased premises," Karapetyan said.