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

The property owners of the eight-storey building "Another World" have terminated the lease deal and managed to seek the court's order for the centre's eviction and which would mean closing down of the largest temple in Russia.
    
"Vedic culture centre is involved in promoting the ancient Indian traditions, including Sanskrit and Yoga studies, among the local followers of Hinduism and had not violated any point of the 49-year lease deed signed in 1992 ... but its very existence is now in danger," Karapetyan said.
   
"This could be the part of the anti-Hindu campaign by a section of Russian Orthodox Christian Church... after their demand to seek the ban on Bhagwad Gita (was rejected), otherwise I don't understand the move for premature termination of the lease," Karapetyan added.
   
The Hindus of Russia had repeatedly sought intervention of Prime Minister Putin in January but the request had gone in vain. The new owner of the building leased to the temple is a close relative of Putin, Karapetyan claimed. The community members had also written to the President of India for urgent help.

(Agencies)