An Indian-American group on Wednesday urged the FBI to investigate the recent desecration of the statue of Mahatma Gandhi in the US state of California as a hate crime and demanded authorities to bring the perpetrators to justice.
The bronze statue of Gandhi in the Central Park of the city of Davis in Northern California was vandalised, broken and ripped from the base by unknown people last week. The city has registered a case and is investigating the incident.
The Foundation for India and Indian Diaspora Studies in a statement also urged President Joe Biden, who has promised to combat hate crime, to confront these growing campaigns against peaceful Indian-American community and India.
"We call upon the Federal Bureau of Investigation to investigate this hate crime done to intimidate the Indian-American community," the foundation said, as it strongly denounced the outrageous and shocking incident.
"We urge the City of Davis to bring the perpetrators of this act to justice and reinstall the statue, a source of inspiration for the entire humanity. Davis''s city needs to send the right message to the country and the world that these kinds of events won't be tolerated," the foundation said.
The City of Davis has condemned the desecration of the Mahatma Gandhi statue and launched an investigation into it. The city, so far, has not given any details of its investigations.
"We urge those who are opposing Gandhi''s ideology of peace to express their protest in a peaceful and democratic way. It would be better if they can engage in discussions instead of getting engaged in violence," it said.
This is not the first time that the statue, donated by Indian Council for Cultural Relations, has been desecrated. It happened in June of 2020 as well, the foundation said.
Mahatma Gandhi is seen as a messenger of peace across the world. Gandhian principles inspired leaders such as Rev Martin Luther King Jr, who visited India to meet Gandhi and called him his "guiding light, it said.