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HomeNews ReportsMK Gandhi's statue vandalised with pro-Khalistan graffiti in Canada's Ontario

MK Gandhi’s statue vandalised with pro-Khalistan graffiti in Canada’s Ontario

This is not the first instance of an MK Gandhi statue being targeted in North America. In February of the previous year, a statue was beheaded in New York, and in January 2021, another statue was vandalised in Davis, California.

Another instance in a sequence of similar events occurred when a statue of MK Gandhi in Canada was vandalised and defaced with graffiti that expresses support for Khalistan and opposition to India.

During the early hours of Thursday, the act of vandalism took place near Hamilton’s City Hall, located in the province of Ontario. The statue of MK Gandhi had been situated at that site since 2012.

Based on video footage of the vandalism, the six-foot-tall bronze statue, which had been donated by the Indian Government, was covered in paint and defaced with graffiti that included insults directed at Gandhi and an offensive remark about Prime Minister Narendra Modi. In addition, a Khalistan flag was affixed to the walking stick that the statue held. The graffiti was found at the base of the statue.

The act of vandalism was detected early in the morning and the municipal authorities promptly took steps to remove the graffiti and clean the statue. The Hamilton Police informed the Hindustan Times that they received a complaint related to the incident on Thursday afternoon and were currently conducting an investigation.

In February, the Shri Ram Mandir, a Hindu temple located in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), was the site of a desecration incident. Anti-India and pro-Khalistan graffiti were spray-painted on the back wall of the temple, marking the fourth occurrence of such incidents within eight months. The town of Mississauga, also situated in the GTA, was the specific location where the vandalism took place.

Similarly, the Gauri Shankar Mandir in Brampton was desecrated on January 30. Preceding this event, in July of last year, a statue of Gandhi located at the Vishnu Mandir in Richmond Hill was vandalized. The bronze statue, which stood 20 feet tall, was placed in the temple’s Peace Park. Subsequently, another incident of vandalism took place at the entrance of the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Toronto in September of the same year.

To date, no arrests have been made concerning any of these incidents. Although some have associated them with the Punjab Referendum organized by the separatist organization, Sikhs for Justice (SFJ), the Canadian law enforcement authorities have not yet confirmed such a connection.

As with prior incidents, a video of the vandalism was circulated on social media by accounts seemingly supportive of Pakistan. The footage was purportedly filmed during the night when the incident took place.

As a consequence of the September vandalism, India lodged a formal diplomatic complaint, in the form of a Note Verbale, with Global Affairs Canada, the nation’s foreign affairs ministry.

This is not the first instance of an MK Gandhi statue being targeted in North America. In February of the previous year, a statue was beheaded in New York, and in January 2021, another statue was vandalised in Davis, California.

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