Highlights

  • India condemned the desecration of a statue of Mahatma Gandhi at a Vishnu temple in Ontario, Canada
  • The Indian High Commission in Ottawa demanded probe into 'hate crime'
  • Canadian police call it 'hate and bias-motivated incident'

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Mahatma Gandhi's statue defaced at Hindu temple in Canada, India seeks probe into 'hate crime'

A nine-foot-high statue of Mahatma Gandhi was defaced with graphic words such as 'rapist' and 'Khalistan' written on it, according to the spokesperson for York Regional Police in Canada.

India on Thursday condemned the desecration of a statue of Mahatma Gandhi at a Vishnu temple in the Richmond Hill city of Ontario in Canada, which police said is being investigated as a hate crime.

"We are distressed at the desecration of Mahatma Gandhi statue at Vishnu temple in Richmond Hill. This criminal, hateful act of vandalism has deeply hurt the sentiments of the Indian community in Canada. We are in contact with Canadian authorities to investigate this hate crime," the Indian Consulate General in Toronto said in a tweet.

The Indian High Commission in Ottawa also expressed 'deep anguish' over what it called a 'hate crime' aimed at 'terrorising' the Indian diaspora and demanded a probe into the incident.

"We are deeply anguished by this hate crime that seeks to terrorize the Indian community. It has led to increased concern and insecurity in the Indian community here. We have approached the Canadian government to investigate and ensure perpetrators are brought to justice swiftly," tweeted the high commission.

The local police reportedly described this as a 'hate and bias-motivated incident'. "Someone defaced the statue with graphic words, including rapist' and Khalistan," Constable Amy Boudreau, spokesperson for York Regional Police, was quoted as saying by ANI.

Also watch: Mahatma Gandhi’s statue vandalised in New York, strong condemnation from Indian consulate

"We recognise that community-wide impact of hate crimes is far-reaching and we do vigorously investigate all occurrences of hate crimes and any hate bias incidents," she was further quoted by the news agency.

The nine-foot-high bronze statue was reportedly built in Delhi and unveiled in Canada in May 1988.

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