The sculpture of Mahatma Gandhi was vandalized by associates of Khalistani separatists during a rally organized by Sikh-American fellows in the support of farmers who are opposing the agriculture laws recently passed in India. A car rally was moved to the Indian Embassy in downtown Washington, DC. Hundreds of Sikhs from in and around the Greater Washington DC area, Maryland, and Virginia, along with numerous from other states like New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Ohio, and North Carolina had assembled to voice solidarity with the protesting farmers in Delhi.
Nevertheless, the calm rally was soon seized by the separatist Sikhs who were bearing Khalistani flags with anti-India posters and banners which said they symbolize “The Republic of Khalistan”.During the protest, many of the pro-Khalistan Sikh youths flashing Kirpans hopped on the statue of Mahatma Gandhi and wrapped a poster over it. The group was pitching anti-India and pro-Khalistan taglines. The Indian Embassy charged the deviant act by criminals masquerading as protesters.
“The statue of Mahatma Gandhi at the Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Plaza in front of the Embassy was defaced by Khalistani elements on 12 December 2020. The Embassy strongly condemns this mischievous act by hooligans masquerading as protesters against the universally respected icon of peace and justice,” it said in a report. The Embassy said it has filed a strong protest with the US law enforcement agents and has also brought up the issue with the Department of State for an inquiry and take action against the offenders under the appropriate law.
The Washington DC Police and Secret Services had a substantial sight when all this occurred on Saturday. Almost half-an-hour later, a cluster of pro-Khalistani followers dangled a figure of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s picture with a cord around the neck of the statue. Later, a secret service agent was seen reaching near the statue and seemingly telling the youths that they were breaking the law by indulging in destruction.
Recently, President Donald Trump had signed an administrative directive, in which a person can be detained for up to 10 years for destroying, damaging, vandalizing, or wrecking a monument, memorial, or statue within the United States or otherwise damages government possessions. The statue of Mahatma Gandhi was unveiled by ex-prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee in the presence of then US president Bill Clinton on September 16, 2000, after the US Congress enacted a rule in this respect in 1998.
This is for the second time that Gandhi’s statue has been vandalized by evildoers. The first such happening was reported on the midnight of June 2 and 3.Farmers from other parts of the country, particularly Haryana and Punjab, have been camping at different boundary points of Delhi for over two weeks to mandate an abolition of the three farm laws.