Justice for Venkat

Justice for Venkat

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Hare Krishna,

Recently ISKCON New Vrindaban located in Marshall County, WV USA witnessed the suicide of an Indian bodied priest name Venkatachalapati Das (Sreedhar Kommanamanchi) under mysterious circumstances. The temple management has been trying to portray the death as accidental and trying to hide the circumstances & facts under which he committed his suicide.

Background: ISKCON New Vrindaban, a (ISKCON) Hindu temple located in Moundsville West Virginia is one of the biggest temples in North America. This temple is visited by almost 40,000 visitors a year. Since most of the visitors are of Indian origin, the temple hires priests from India to cater to the religious needs of the congregation and raise funds from them. This has been going on for the past 20+ years or so.

However, it has been noticed that these priests numbering to 100+ in numbers are victims of racial abuse by the temple management and they are forced to leave the temple after some time if they develop too much popularity among the congregation. Over the years many priests have been forced to leave and everything was taken away from them. They have been publicly shamed, harassed, threatened and even falsely reported to USCIS to deport them back to their country of origin. This trend is started and followed under the management of Jaya Krsna Das (Josef Imseng) who runs the temple as corporate business.

One young priest named Venkatachalapati Das (Sreedhar Kommanamachi) was targeted by Jaya Krsna das and his wife Anuradha Dasi. Venkatachalapati das being very naive and unable to bear the humiliation, threat & several atrocities committed suicide. 

Unanswered Questions and trying to cover up:
1. The first communication from the temple management was that it’s an accident. “There was a deity of Narasimha found with him under the boat and a garland of Narasimha which he was wearing was found floating on the water.” clearly indicates it is not but still management tried to cover it up. 

2. Time of the incident never got revealed, ie. who met venkat last who talked to him. Where were his belonging no details !  

3. The focus of the temple management and board rotates with a goal to protect the temple management.

4. Second communication came from the temple, he left a Note of suicide.

5. Again focus shifted to show a rosy image of the suicide. They mention Venkat loves cleaning the lake though he doesn’t know to swim and he is not assigned to this work, shows management negligence for letting someone do what he is not qualified for? Mentioning Venkat has no issues with management, wife,  life, or anything. Then why did he committed suicide? More coverup continues hereon from the authorities.

6. Now once people started questions on the FB post, temple authorities first deleted comments, and now the post is removed. Trying to shut voices.

Overall in this whole fiasco Venkat lost his life. He was one beloved son of old and poor parents from Vizag, India, a loving husband, an unbiased friend, the sweetest person who greets everyone who comes to the temple to visit, a priest who had enormous faith in Lord Shri Radha Vrindavan chandra and Lord Narsimha and a guy who touched so many lives.     

Here are our demands:
1. A thorough investigation into the step by step circumstances leading to Venkatachalapati's death by neutral & competent authority.

2. A public apology from New Vrindaban temple management & board for hiding the facts and misleading the friends and family members and overall donors and supporters of ISKCON New Vrindaban.

3. Resignation of Anuttama Das - the GBC, Jaya Krsna Das, Anuradha Dasi and Gopisa Dasa from New Vrindaban temple management and any GBC positions or authorities held by these individuals and unbiased investigation into all the racial abuses they caused to Indian as well as other nationality priests along with thorough investigation of financial misappropriations of funds which are donated largely by Indian congregational members.

4. Written condemnation & confirmation to STOP overall systematic abuse of Indian priests for raising money and humiliating and abusing them.

This Death of a young telugu priest should not go in vain. Sign this petition and demand #justiceforvenkat #devoteelivesmatter #indianlivesmatter #humanlivesmatter