Indian Embassy in the United States has officially lodged a strong protest with the US law enforcement agencies against the defacing of Mahatma Gandhi's statue in Washington's Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Plaza by Khalistani elements "masquerading as protestors".
The Embassy has sought a timely investigation and action against the culprits under the relevant law and has also taken up this matter with the US State Department, as per its official statement.
The Indian Embassy, in an official statement, said: "The Embassy strongly condemns this mischievous act by hooligans masquerading as protestors against the universally respected icon of peace and justice."
A yellow coloured flag was draped on the head and face of the statue coupled with cardboard cutouts and placards placed on it. The incident took place on December 12 while a protest against newly passed farm laws was at its peak near the Indian Embassy. Khalistani flags were also spotted at this protest, according to an ANI report.
This, however, is not the first time Gandhi's statue was vandalised in the US. Earlier this year, Gandhi's statue outside the Indian Embassy in Washington, which was unveiled by former Indian Prime Minister Late Atal Bihar Vajpayee in 2000, was vandalised with graffiti and spray painting during nationwide protests across the US over the racial killing of African-American George Floyd.
While the Trump campaign condemned this incident as 'disrespectful' and 'very disappointing', US Ambassador to India Kenneth Juster apologised for this incident.
He had tweeted, "So sorry to see the desecration of the Gandhi statue in Wash, DC. Please accept our sincere apologies. Appalled as well by the horrific death of George Floyd and the awful violence and vandalism. We stand against prejudice and discrimination of any type. We will recover and be better."