White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany has described as ”appalling” the desecration of Mahatma Gandhi’s statue outdoors the Indian embassy right here and mentioned his status must be revered, particularly within the US capital. A violent group of Khalistani separatists on Saturday desecrated Mahatma Gandhi’s statue outdoors the Indian embassy in Washington throughout an indication by Sikh-American youths in help of farmers protesting towards the just lately enacted agriculture legal guidelines in India.
Responding to a query in regards to the incident throughout a press convention, McEnany mentioned, ”It’s horrible. No statue or memorial must be desecrated and positively not one like that of Gandhi who actually fought for the values that America represents of peace, justice, and freedom.” ”It is appalling that it has occurred greater than as soon as and we imagine the status of Mahatma Gandhi must be revered, particularly right here in America’s capital,” she mentioned. A State Department spokesperson mentioned on Tuesday that they had been conscious of current 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 said. Hundreds of Sikhs from in and around Greater Washington DC area, Maryland and Virginia, along with many from other states like New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Ohio and North Carolina, on Saturday undertook a car rally to the Indian embassy in downtown Washington DC, where they gathered to express solidarity with the protesting Indian farmers.
However, the peaceful protest was soon hijacked by the separatist Sikhs who were 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 on the Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Plaza in entrance of the embassy was defaced by Khalistani parts on 12 December 2020. The Embassy strongly condemns this mischievous act by hooligans masquerading as protesters towards the universally revered icon of peace and justice,” it mentioned in an announcement. The embassy mentioned it has lodged a robust protest with the US legislation enforcement companies and likewise taken up the matter with the Department of State for an early investigation and motion towards the culprits below the relevant legislation. The statue of Mahatma Gandhi was unveiled by then prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee within 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 outdoors the Indian embassy within the US with graffiti and spray portray, prompting the mission to register a criticism with the native legislation enforcement companies.
Vandalism of the statue of the apostle of peace occurred throughout the week of nationwide protests towards the custodial killing of African-American George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25.