Moscow: India has strongly taken up the demand for banning Hindu scripture Bhagavad Gita, which a group linked to the Christian Orthodox Church has described as 'extremist', with the Russian authorities, Indian Ambassador to Russia Ajai Malhotra said.

READ MORE:Hindus’ bid to save Gita from ban in Russia

"The matter has been taken up by the Indian Embassy in Moscow with the Russian Government at senior official level, seeking its favourable and positive intervention in the matter," Ambassador Malhotra said, as the court in Tomsk postponed its ruling on the petition banning Bhagwad Gita as 'extremist' and allegedly 'sowing' social-discord in Russia.

Describing Bhagwat Gita as extremist, a group linked to the Christian Orthodox Church has demanded ban due to conflict of interests between the Russian followers of Lord Krishna and the local authorities in the Siberian region of Tomsk.

Malhotra personally and his mission here have been publicly expressed their support to the local chapter of International Society of Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON).

The final hearing in the Tomsk District Court is scheduled for December 28, as the Court agreed to seek the opinion of the Russian Ombudsman on Human Rights in Tomsk Region and of Indologists from Moscow and St Petersburg (all of whom favour dismissal of the case).

The case pertains to the legal relationship between a Russian registered socio-cultural organization and the local authorities. Nevertheless, the Embassy in Moscow has been publicly supportive and sympathetic in the matter.

Russia expresses sadness over controversy

In the wake of an uproar over a move to ban Bhagwad Gita in Siberia, Russia tonight expressed sadness over the development, saying it is "inadmissible" that a holy scripture is taken to court.

"It is strange that such events are unfolding in the beautiful University City in Siberia, as Tomsk which is famous for its secularism and religious tolerance," Alexander M Kadakin, Russian Ambassador in India said in a statement.

"Well, it seems that even the lovely city of Tomsk has its own neighborhood madmen. It is sad indeed."

"I consider it categorically inadmissible when any holy scripture is taken to the courts. For all believers these texts are sacred," the Ambassador said.

"It is not normal either when religious books are sent for examination to ignorant people. Their academic scrutiny should be done at scientists' for a, congresses, seminars, etc but not in courts," he said.

Meanwhile, a Russian court on Tuesday suspended its verdict till December 28 on the demand for banning Bhagavad Gita, which a group linked to the Christian Orthodox Church has described as 'extremist'.

The move triggered strong protests by Members of Parliament earlier in day. They wanted the Indian Government to take up the matter strongly with Russia.

"Russia, as it is known to anyone, is a secular and democratic country where all religions enjoy equal respect.

Even more applicable it is to the holy scriptures of various faiths - whether it is the Bible, the Holy Quran, Torah, Avesta and, of course, Bhagavad-Gita -- the great source of wisdom for the people of India and the world," the Ambassador said.

(Agencies)