A large number of Indian Americans held a community vigil at a city park in California, where some anti-social people vandalised a statue of Mahatma Gandhi last week.
A 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.
Addressing the vigil at the Central Park, Gloria Partida, the Mayor of the City of Davis, deeply regretted the act of vandalism and said, "Vandalism will never be condoned. Gandhi is our inspiration and we will not allow this. Not on our watch."
The vigil was organised by the Indian Association of Sacramento (IAS), along with other Indian-American and Hindu-American organisations.
Speaking at the peace vigil at the park, Shyam Goyal, retired professor, University of California at Davis and a member of Gandhi Statue For Peace Committee, expressed deep shock at the act of vandalism and said, "Mahatma Gandhi is inescapable in the world today in order to solve our problem in a peaceful and non-violent way."
The IAS said the pro-Khalistan protesters tried to intimidate the attendees in an attempt to stop the event and also tried to assault a woman speaker at the event. Police had to be called in to control the aggressive protesters. According to a media release issued by the association, a police report has been filed about the assault on the woman speaker.
The organisers of the vigil said Khalistani separatist organisations, led by the OFMI and its leaders Bhajan Singh Bhindar and Pieter Friedrich, had been demanding that the Gandhi statue be removed from the park ever since it was installed by the city of Davis in 2016.
The IAS said it awaits justice and the restoration of the statue at Central Park.