US slams defacing of Gandhi statue in Washington

US slams defacing of Gandhi statue in Washington

NEW DELHI: The US administration has strongly condemned the defacing of a Mahatma Gandhi statue last week in front of the Indian embassy in Washington DC with the White House describing the incident as “terrible”, saying “Gandhi fought for the values that America represents”.
In the second incident in the past six months, the Gandhi statue outside the Indian embassy on Massachusetts Avenue was attacked by what the Indian government described as Khalistani elements, coinciding with the farmers protests in India.
“It’s terrible. No statue or memorial should be desecrated and certainly not one like that of Gandhi who really fought for the values that America represents of peace, justice and freedom,” White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said during a briefing on Tuesday.
The US reaction was in sharp contrast to Canada’s, whose PM Justin Trudeau supported the farmers protests in India, a move opposed by the government as being one interfering in India’s internal affairs.
“It is appalling that it has happened more than once and we believe the reputation of Mahatma Gandhi should be respected, especially here in America’s capital,” the White House spokesperson said.
The Indian embassy said in a statement that the statue at Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Plaza “was defaced by Khalistani elements” on December 12.
“The embassy strongly condemns this mischievous act by hooligans masquerading as protesters against the universally respected icon of peace and justice. 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 statement read.

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