Gandhi Statue Vandalised By ‘Pro-Khalistanis’ Amid US Farm Protest
A peaceful protest in support of Indian farmers’ protest was soon hijacked by ‘Khalistan supporters’ in Washington.
A statue of Mahatma Gandhi was desecrated on Saturday, 12 December, by alleged Khalistani separatists in Washington during a protest organised by Sikh-American youths in support of ongoing farmers’ protests in India against the new agricultural laws.
To express solidarity with the farmers, hundreds of Sikhs from several parts of USA including Greater Washington DC area, Maryland, Virginia, New Jersey, North Carolina and Ohio had carried out a car rally.
According to a report by PTI, the peaceful protest was soon overtaken by separatist Sikhs who carried pro-Khalistani flags and posters, raised alleged 'anti-India' and pro-Khalistan slogans. Some of these youths, who flashed Kirpans, jumped on the statue of Mahatma Gandhi and pasted a poster over it.
Another group of pro-Khalistani supporters also hung a dummy of PM Narendra Modi's picture with a rope around the neck of Gandhi's statue.
‘Mischievous Act’: Indian Embassy Condemns Attack on Gandhi Statue
Calling it a "mischievous act by hooligans masquerading as protesters", The Indian Embassy condemned the incident and said, in a statement, "The statue of Mahatma Gandhi at the Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Plaza in front of the Embassy was defaced by Khalistani elements on 12 December 2020. The Embassy strongly condemns this mischievous act by hooligans masquerading as protesters against the universally respected icon of peace and justice."
The Embassy has reportedly sought a fast investigation and action in the matter from the Department of State. It has also lodged a strong protest against the incident with the US law enforcement, reported PTI.
As per the report, the Washington DC Police and Secret Service were adequately present at the spot when the incident took place. At one point, one secret service agent was seen talking to the youths and allegedly telling them that they were violating the law.
On 26 June, President Donald Trump had signed an executive order by which an individual who is responsible for desecrating a monument, memorial or statue within the United States can be jailed up to 10 years.
This particular Gandhi statue was unveiled in 2000 by then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee in the presence of then US President Bill Clinton.
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