Washington, DC – The United States is aware of the incident of the defacing of Mahatma Gandhi’s statue in front of the Indian Embassy here, according to the US State Department.
In a statement to IAT, a State Department spokesperson said, “We are aware of recent protests in front of the Indian Embassy in Washington, D.C.”
The statement added, “We take our responsibility to provide for the safety and security of foreign missions in the U.S. very seriously and are discussing the recent incident with the Indian Embassy.”
Earlier, the Indian Embassy in a press release strongly condemned “this mischievous act by hooligans masquerading as protesters against the universally respected icon of peace and justice.”
Abu Mathen George, First Secretary (Press, Information and Culture) at the Indian Embassy said, “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 has lodged a strong protest with US law enforcement agencies and has also taken up the matter with the US Department of State for an early investigation and action against the culprits under the applicable law,” the Indian diplomat added.
The Mahatma Gandhi Memorial is a public statue of Mahatma Gandhi, installed on a triangular island along Massachusetts Avenue, in front of the Embassy of India here in the United States.
There have been numerous peaceful protest rallies, including car and truck rallies, in support of the ongoing Farmer Agitation in India.
Most of the time the Khalistani elements were kept at bay, but on December 12 a group of Sikhs carrying Khalistani flags and raising slogans in support of the separatist Khalistani movement and against the Government of India, defaced the statue and placed posters on it.
Tens of thousands of farmers from the Northern Indian states of Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan are in a grinding standoff with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led federal government in Delhi, demanding the repeal of three new farm laws. The farmers across the country are supporting the agitation according to independent media reports.
The protestors allege that these contentious reforms will loosen rules around the sale, pricing and storage of farm produce – rules that have protected them from an unfettered free market for decades.
In September, the Akali Dal, a key ally of the Modi government, quit in protest against the laws.