A 6-ft tall, 294 kg bronze statue of Mahatma Gandhi was vandalized in the city of Davis in Northern California attracting outrage from Indian-Americans across US. Moreover, the Indian government has condemned the act and the embassy of India in Washington DC has reported the matter to the US Department of State.
"On 28 Jan'21, Mahatma Gandhi statue at Central Park in City of Davis, California was vandalised by unknown persons. Statue was a gift by the government of India in 2016. The Govt strongly condemns this malicious and despicable act against a universally respected icon of peace and justice," the ministry of external affairs said.
"Embassy of India in Washington DC has taken up the matter with the US Department of State for a thorough investigation and appropriate action. Consulate General of India in San Francisco has separately taken up the matter with City of Davis and local law enforcement authorities," it added.
As per reports, miscreants have broken the statute and ripped it from the base. Half its face and the ankles are missing.
The vandalised statue was found by a park employee on of January 27, the police said.
"The statue is being removed and will be stored in a safe place until it can be evaluated", said Davis City councilman Lucas Frerichs.
"Seeing as it's a cultural icon to a portion of the people in Davis, we are taking it very seriously", Deputy Chief Paul Doroshov of the Davis Police Department was quoted as saying by the daily.
The statue was donated by the Indian government which was installed by the city council four years ago amidst protests from anti-Gandhi and anti-India organisations.
Notably, organisation for Minorities in India (OFMI), opposed the installation of the statue. The City of Davis had however voted to go ahead with the installation. Since then OFMI had launched a campaign to remove the statue of Mahatma Gandhi.