The statue, donated by India, is installed in the Central Park of the City of Davis in Northern California
NEW DELHI — A statue of Mahatma Gandhi installed in a park in the US state of California has been vandalised, broken and ripped from the base, reports Press Trust of India quoting a local daily Davis Enterprise.
The 6-ft tall, 650-pound (294 kg) bronze statue of Gandhi, in the Central Park of the City of Davis in Northern California, appeared to have been sawed off at the ankles and half its face was severed and missing, says the American daily.
Those who committed this hate crime are still unknown. The incident has sent shock waves among the Indian community in the United States. Community members have demanded from the local authorities to investigate the matter.
The vandalised statue was found by a park employee in the early hours of January 27, the police said.
The statue is being removed and will be stored in a safe place until it can be evaluated, Davis City councilman Lucas Frerichs has been quoted as saying.
Another newspaper, Sacramento Bee, says that investigators are still unsure of when exactly the statue was torn down or what the motive may have been.
The statue of the Mahatma was donated by the Indian government to the city of Davis. It was installed by the city council four years ago amidst protests from anti-Gandhi and anti-India organisations. The protests were spearheaded by a group called the Organisation for Minorities in India (OFMI). The City of Davis had however voted to go ahead with the installation. Since then OFMI had launched a campaign to remove the Gandhi statue.
Indian-Americans have expressed deep anguish and shock at the incident.