Russian court dismisses plea to ban Gita

Hindus in Russia Wednesday won a hard-fought six-month battle in a Siberian court against a plea to ban the Bhagavad Gita, among their holiest of religious scriptures, with the judge dismissing the state prosecutors' stand the book be branded "extremist" literature, as first reported by IANS.

The court in the Siberian city of Tomsk took up the case for a final hearing Wednesday morning and the judge, after reviewing the petition from the state prosecutors and the responses from the Hindus, dismissed the plea.

"The court has dismissed the state prosecutors' case during the hearing today," Sadhu Priya Das, a leader of the Russian unit of International Society for Krishna Consciousness (Iskcon), told IANS on the phone from Moscow.

The case has been going on in the Tomsk city court since June and Hindus in Russia had pleaded with the Indian government to intervene diplomatically.

After the Indian authorities were informed of the case, the government in New Delhi and the Indian embassy in Moscow too took up the matter with the Russian government.

Indian External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna had met Russian Ambassador to India Alexander Kadakin Tuesday on the issue.

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