Sunday, June 11, 2017

Ujjain: High Court decision on legal status of allotted land puts ISKCON in trouble

Ujjain: The Urban development and housing department have issued orders to UDA to cancel allotments of plot number 33,34,35,36 and 37, which had been allotted to the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON).
 The orders were issued after the high court decision was taken, on a petition filed by the Society for advocacy and reform, challenging the legality of the allotment of land to ISKCON, which has constructed the temple, administrative block, guest house and 6 storied building worth crores of rupees on the allotted land. Apparently, the land was allotted against rules and was not being used by ISKCON for the stated purposes.
The department also directed Ujjain Development Authority (UDA) to take back the land and arrange a resale. Chief executive officer of UDA, Abhishek Dubey said: “the order received is lengthy and before taking possession of the land we shall study it and seek legal advice from expert lawyers.”

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Pakistani Living In ISKCON Temple Detained With Fake Identity Card

ISKCON TRUTH EXPOSE: A Pakistani national living as a Sadhu in Iskcon temple in the Delhi-Haryana border town of Bahadurgarh was taken into police custody on Thursday evening.
Sources said the police have recovered a Pakistani passport from him in which his name has been mentioned as Raja, a resident of Hindu Colony in Larkana, Pakistan. He had come to Indian in 2013, and his visa has expired. He has allegedly been living in the temple from past few months.
The police said they have recovered an Aadhar card and a PAN (permanent account number) card from him in which he has a different date of birth from his passport, and his name is changed to Raasraj Das Rajput. Jhajjar SP Satheesh Balan said the Indian documents proofs are original, but they are probing how he managed to get them.
While being taken away, the man told the local media that he’s a Hindu who wants to continue living in India.
The SP said the further investigation was being conducted by the Intelligence Bureau. “No case has been registered. The investigation is going on,” he said.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

ISKCON Bangalore ordered to return marriage hall booking money

BANGALORE MIRROR: The State Consumer Commission has directed ISKCON Bangalore to refund the amount it collected for the booking of its wedding hall. The consumer had cancelled the booking but was refused repayment. The district Consumer Forum had ruled in favour of the consumer after ISKCON failed to provide any proof that the hall had not been used by others on the same date. ISKCON approached the Commission with an appeal and produced documentary proof. The Commission not only upheld the Forum’s order but slapped a fine of Rs 2,000 on ISKCON for trying to introduce new proof after the Forum’s order.

BB Muthu Raju, a resident of Bharat Nagar had booked the Dwarakavaasa Kalyana Mantapa belonging to ISKCON for his daughter’s wedding. The wedding was to take place on March 11 and 12, 2015. He had paid Rs 1,65,150 for the use of the wedding hall. His daughter’s marriage was cancelled on that date and therefore he sought for cancellation of the booking and return of the money paid by him from ISKCON.

He claimed that he was orally told that the amount would be returned after deduction of 10 per cent of the deposit amount. But he was never paid.

He approached the Consumer Forum stating that he was a middle-class person without a regular income and if he is not refunded the amount he would be in financial crisis. ISKCON admitted that the wedding hall was booked by Muthu Raju and he had paid the deposit.

The Forum directed ISKCON to pay back the amount to Muthu Raju with interest. The Commission, however, pointed out that though the complaint was filed in 2015 and disposed of in 2016 by the Forum, ISKCON had failed to produce the “statement of account, the luxury tax details and occupancy details” before it. It was only in the Appeal before the Commission that these were submitted.

Along with the dismissal, a fine of Rs 2,000 was also imposed. The amount payable to Muthu Raju was ordered to be released to him.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Haryana: Snake found in mid-day meal, ISKCON under scanner

ibtimes: In an appalling incident, a snakelet was found in the mid-day meal served to students of a government school in Faridabad on Thursday. The ISKCON foundation, which is responsible for supplying food to the school, has come under the scanner following the incident.

The incident took place in Rajkeeya Girls Senior Secondary School. A few students started vomiting as soon as they had eaten the meal. When the principal and other faculty members found the snakelet when they checked the food. The authorities immediately asked students to stop eating the meals. Two teachers and six students, who felt nauseous, were rushed to a hospital but were discharged later.School principal Braj Bala informed the matter to the district administration, which alerted other schools in the region.

The food sample is sent for testing in Chandigarh lab.

According to the Hindu, the Deputy Commissioner Sameer Pal Srow of Faridabad has tasked a five-member committee to conduct an examination of the kitchen and submit a report by the evening. The committee is headed by the Faridabad Tehsildar. A separate committee will investigate the incident under the leadership of Additional Deputy Commissioner.

ISKCON said the school did not show them the snake found in the food.

"Our food is cooked in 120 degrees Celsius temperature. There is no chance that even an insect can enter our kitchens, forget a snake ", said Dhananjay Krishna Das, the vice chairman of ISKCON.

Mid-day meals are served in 371 schools in the Faridabad district.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Boy drowns in swimming pool of ISKCON-run school, Mathura

Indian Express: A 13-year-old boy drowned in the swimming pool of a boarding school run by the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), police said Tuesday.
The incident took place yesterday when Kartik, a 7th class student in Delhi, was taking a bath in the pool of the Bhakti Vedanta Gurukul and International School (BGIS), Vrindavan station in charge Uday Pratap Singh said.
The victim’s friends alerted the school staff when they spotted him struggling in the waters, he said, adding the boy was rushed to a hospital where he was declared dead on arrival.
“Prima facie it is a case of negligence on part of the school management as no trainer was deployed near the pool at the time of the incident. Only, the school vice principal, who is not a trained swimmer, was present at the spot,” Singh said.
The body has been sent for postmortem, he said. The police added that no FIR has been registered in the case so far as no one has come forward with a complaint. Meanwhile, ISKCON PRO Ravilochan said the school management has ordered a probe into the incident.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Whiff of Iskcon food at Namma Canteens?

Times Of India: BENGALURU: The International Society for Krishna Consciousness (Iskcon) will, in all probability, be the sole supplier of food for the newly proposed 198 Namma Canteens in Bengaluru city. Food from Iskcon kitchen fills thousands of tummies every day at schools across the state under the midday meal scheme.

Sources in the government said the idea to rope in Iskcon came from the food and civil supplies department earlier last year. The idea of Namma Canteens was floated by C M Ibrahim, state planning board deputy chairman, three years ago. Ibrahim had suggested Aiyya Canteens, on the lines of Tamil Nadu's much-lauded Amma Canteens. However, due to cost considerations, the idea was shelved in 2016.

The Karnataka government had then hit upon the idea of targeting the migrant population and the homeless in urban areas by having night-food shelters or night wheels. However, with assembly elections approaching, the CM decided to revive the TN canteen model to supply food for all. According to the budget announcement, these canteens will offer breakfast at Rs 5 and lunch at Rs 10. The government is seeking to execute the project with a centralised kitchen so as to ensure quality food and consistent taste.

"Iskcon appeared to be the best possible option as it has the capacity to execute such bulk orders," said a senior government official. The government is believed to have had two rounds of talks with Iskcon for the project, and a memorandum of understanding (MoU) is likely to be inked soon. The project is estimated to cost Rs 100 crore.

According to sources in the urban development department (UDD), while Iskcon will be charging a higher rate for each plate of breakfast and lunch, the government will subsidise the same at the promised rates.
The food and civil supplies department, which was to be the nodal agency, has now decided to hand over the scheme's execution to the BBMP. The Palike has to identify the locations for the canteens in the 198 wards. These will effectively work as distribution centres for food coming from Iskcon.

A spokesperson for Iskcon confirmed that they were in talks with the government for the project and that negotiations are on. "We have the capacity to manage both midday meals and Namma Canteens. The procurement process will be separate from both the projects and Iskcon is ready to supply bulk orders for Namma Canteens," the spokesperson said.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

HC refuses to quash FIR against members of ISKCON Mumbai

Bangalore Mirror: One more case in the ongoing legal tussle between ISKCON Bengaluru and ISKCON Mumbai reached the High Court. This time, three trustees and members of ISKCON Mumbai approached the HC seeking to quash a FIR registered against them by the Ulsoor police after a complaint by ISKCON Bengaluru. The HC has, however, dismissed the petition, saying it is for the trial court to decide the matter before it.

An original suit had been filed by ISKCON Bengaluru trust in 2001 claiming exclusive management of the Bengaluru properties. ISKCON Mumbai was contending that the Bengaluru institutions were its branch. ISKCON Mumbai had filed 32 volumes of documents in the case and one of it was the bone of contention now. That case has reached the Supreme Court and is still pending.

In July 2012, Dayaram Das, Varadakrishna Das and Krishna bhajan Das of ISKCON Mumbai are said to have held a press conference and issued a press release claiming ISKCON Bengaluru was its branch. They are said to have released an 11-page document said to be an exhibit in the original suit between Bengaluru and Mumbai.

ISKCON Bengaluru filed a complaint before the magistrate court claiming that the document had an additional page and therefore was a forged and fabricated one. The three ISKCON Mumbai members approached the HC seeking to quash the FIR ordered by the lower court. They also sought to make the Registrar General of the HC as a party to the case and to direct him to hold an enquiry into the allegation of the allegedly forged 11th page.

Dismissing the petition, the HC said that the complaint was not that a forged document was filed before the court in the case but a concocted page was inserted as being part of the court document. Secondly, the allegation that the investigation officer of Ulsoor police had a nexus with ISKCON Bengaluru was also dismissed as the said officer was no longer in the same station and another police officer was handling the case. As to the contention that the Ulsoor police did not have jurisdiction, the HC said that it was only a procedural aspect which can be brought to the notice of the lower court.

The HC said that as the lower court had ordered an enquiry, “it would not be prudent for his court to quash the proceedings at this juncture.” The HC also dismissed the request for an inquiry by the Registrar General as it was the subject matter of the criminal case. The court dismissed the petition, saying it had no merit.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Gujaratis donate over $1mn for Iskcon temple project

Times Of India: Ahmedabad: Alfred Brush Ford and his wife Sharmila organised a fundraiser at Iskcon temple on Saturday evening for the ambitious Sri Mayapur Chandrodaya Mandir (Temple of the Vedic Planetarium). Ford had started his Gujarat travels from February 1. It was the first state on his pan-India itinerary.

Alfred is the great-grandson of the founder of Ford Motor Company, Henry Ford.

"Gujarat is a state blessed by Lord Krishna," Albert said at the Ahmedabad meeting. "It is a great pleasure to be here. I had been to Rajkot and Dwarka several years ago. Our collection of funds is going very well. We were ably supported by Jasumatinandan Das in the cause. We have collected over $1 million (approximately Rs 6.72 crore) in just three days which is very encouraging."

Talking about the temple project that started in 2009, Albert Ford said they are following in the footsteps of Srila Prabhupada, founder of Iskcon, who had dreamed of a spectacular temple at Mayapur as a tribute to Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. "The process started with his travels to the West and sharing his dreams to revitalise Veda and ancient culture in India," said Ford, who is chairman of the project.
His wife Sharmila said that, for the first time, visitors will be able to see a 3D model of the universe as explained in the Hindu scriptures. The 350-feet-high temple will show Golok Dham at the top and Patal at the bottom, Ford said.

Brij Vilas Das, director of fundraising, said that apart from a personal donation of Rs 250 crore by Ford, the project has collected an additional Rs 100 crore for the temple which is expected to cost Rs 700 crore. "Around 95% of the construction for the primary structure has been done. We expect the project to be complete by 2022. An 80-feet-high Kalash will be established above the dome this March," Das said.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Akshaya Patra's Annapurna Yojana Offers Food for Rs. 10 for Poor in Chandigarh.

Press Room: Annapurna Akshaya Patra Yojna initiated by Akshaya Patra Foundation (APF), in alliance with Chandigarh UT Administration, was started to provide an affordable, hygienic and nutritious diet to people. Under this scheme, food packets worth Rs 10 were distributed by the UT Administration, but only 500 people could avail the meal as the entire stock was sold within an hour.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

UP CM AkhileshYadav Performs Ground Breaking Ceremony for 11 Akshaya Patra Kitchens

The Hans India: The Akshaya Patra Foundation is set to launch eleven new kitchens in in partnership with the Government of Uttar Pradesh. The Honourable Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Shri Akhilesh Yadav announced the setting up of eleven new kitchens with the ‘Shilanyas’ (Ground Breaking Ceremony) on 26 December, 2016 at Lok Bhavan, New Secretariat – Lucknow. These kitchens will start providing mid-day meals to children in the next academic year and increase the reach to over 1 lakh children per kitchen every day in due course. 
There were a host of dignitaries present at the occasion including Shri Ahmad Hasan–Cabinet Minister for Basic Education,  Shri Kailash Chourasiya – Minister for Women & Child Welfare, Shri Wasim Ahmed – Minister for Child Development &  Nutrition, Primary Education and Energy, Shri Rajendra Choudhury – Cabinet Minister for Political Pension,  Shri Ram Govind Choudhury – Minister for Panchayat Raj, Shri Pradeep Mathur – MLA, Mathura constituency, Shri Alok Ranjan – Chief Advisor to Shri Akhilesh Yadav, Shri Rahul Bhatnagar – Chief Secretary, Shri Ajay Kumar Singh – Secretary, Basic Education,  Shri Chanchalapathi Dasa, Vice Chairman – The Akshaya Patra Foundation and Shri Suvyakta NarasimhaDasa – President, The Akshaya Patra Foundation, UP.
Akshaya Patra is currently feeding 1,05,000 children from its Vrindavan kitchen and 66,000 children from the Lucknow kitchen (which was inaugurated by Shri AkhileshYadav on 15th March, 2015), totalling to 1,71,000 children across 3021 schools in Uttar Pradesh. With the introduction of these new 11 kitchens, the reach will be expanded to serving more than 13 lakh or 1.3 million beneficiaries per day, which makes this the Foundation’s largest intervention in India.
Speaking on the occasion, Shri Chanchalapathi Dasa said, “We are humbled and honoured with confidence reposed on us by the Honourable Chief Minister Shri Akhilesh Yadav and the Government of Uttar Pradeshfor sponsoring the land and the kitchen facilities as a step to end class room hunger in the region. It is due to this unflinching support that Akshaya Patra is poised to feed more than 1.3 million children in Uttar Pradesh on a daily basis, which is a shining example of a successful Public Private Partnership (PPP) in the field of nutrition, education and child welfare not only in India but across the world. We are deeply committed to work with the Government to construct Akshaya Patra kitchens and provide healthy and nutritious mid-day meals to children.”
The districts where the eleven new kitchens will be constructed are Varanasi, Ghaziabad, Agra, Allahabad, Kanpur, Etawah, Kannauj, Ambedkar Nagar, Azamgarh, Rampur and Ballia. It was a landmark event in which the ground breaking ceremony for establishing all the eleven centralised kitchens was observed simultaneously, signalling the delivery of better nutrition, better education and a better future for the beneficiaries.
Acknowledging this momentous event, Shri Madhu Pandit Dasa, Chairman – The Akshaya Patra Foundation, said, “I sincerely thank the Honourable Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Shri Akhilesh Yadav, a dynamic and visionary leader whose progressive policies have been instrumental in the all–round development of the state.This encouragement and support will help the Foundation take greater strides towards its mission of feeding 5 million children every day by 2020.”

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