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Kazakh Officials Order Hare Krishnas To Leave Property

Members of the Society of Krishna Consciousness in Almaty
Members of the Society of Krishna Consciousness in Almaty
ALMATY -- The Kazakhstan Society of Krishna Consciousness must vacate its property by February 28, according to a letter sent to them by the Kazakh authorities.

Society Chairwoman Galinna Glouz told RFE/RL’s Kazakh Service that the government offered to relocate the group to a location she described as a "dumpsite."

Deputy Governor Serik Mukanov said the organization was offered an acceptable alternative location by officials, which it accepted and then turned down at the last minute.

Last month, an American representing the Hare Krishnas was deported from Kazakhstan after landing at the Almaty airport, even though he had a valid visa.

The Kazakh government has been in conflict with the Hare Krishna community since last fall, when Almaty Oblast officials decided to demolish houses belonging to Krishna followers living on Almaty's outskirts.