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White House condemns desecration of Mahatma Gandhi’s statue in Washington

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A violent group of Khalistani separatists on Saturday desecrated Mahatma Gandhi’s statue exterior the Indian embassy throughout an indication by Sikh-American youths in help of farmers protesting towards the Indian farm legal guidelines

White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany has described as “appalling” the desecration of Mahatma Gandhi’s statue exterior the Indian embassy right here and mentioned his fame needs to be revered, particularly in the US capital.

A violent group of Khalistani separatists on Saturday desecrated Mahatma Gandhi’s statue exterior the Indian embassy in Washington throughout an indication by Sikh-American youths in help of farmers protesting towards the not too long ago enacted agriculture legal guidelines in India.

Responding to a query in regards to the incident throughout a press convention, McEnany mentioned, “It’s terrible. No statue or memorial should be desecrated and certainly not one like that of Gandhi who really fought for the values that America represents of peace, justice, and freedom.”

“It is appalling that it has happened more than once and we believe the reputation of Mahatma Gandhi should be respected, especially here in America’s capital,” she mentioned.

A State Department spokesperson mentioned on Tuesday that they had been conscious of latest protests in entrance of the Indian Embassy in Washington DC.

“We take our responsibility to provide for the safety and security of foreign missions in the US very seriously and are discussing the recent incident with the Indian Embassy,” the spokesperson mentioned.

Hundreds of Sikhs from in and round Greater Washington DC space, Maryland and Virginia, together with many from different states like New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Ohio and North Carolina, on Saturday undertook a automobile rally to the Indian embassy in downtown Washington DC, the place they gathered to specific solidarity with the protesting Indian farmers.

Peaceful protest hijacked?

However, the peaceable protest was quickly hijacked by the separatist Sikhs who had been carrying Khalistani flags with anti-India posters and banners.

During the protest, many of the pro-Khalistan Sikh youths flashing kirpans jumped on the statue of Mahatma Gandhi and pasted a poster over it. The group raised anti-India and pro-Khalistan slogans.

The Indian embassy condemned the “mischievous act” by hooligans masquerading as protesters.

“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,” it mentioned in a press release.

The Embassy mentioned it has lodged a powerful protest with the US legislation enforcement businesses and likewise taken up the matter with the Department of State for an early investigation and motion towards the culprits beneath the relevant legislation.

The statue of Mahatma Gandhi was unveiled by then prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee in the presence of then US president Bill Clinton on September 16, 2000, after the US Congress handed a legislation in 1998.

This is for the second time that Gandhi’s statue has been desecrated by miscreants this yr.

The first such incident was reported on the intervening evening of June 2 and three when unknown miscreants vandalised his statue exterior the Indian embassy in the US with graffiti and spray portray, prompting the mission to register a grievance with the native legislation enforcement businesses.

Vandalism of the statue of the apostle of peace occurred in the course of the week of nationwide protests towards the custodial killing of African-American George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25.

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