The statue of Mahatma Gandhi at the Mahatma Gandhi Memorial in front of the Indian embassy in Washington DC was defaced by Khalistan elements on Saturday during a protest organized by Sikh-American youths in support of farmers who are protesting against the recently enacted agriculture laws in India.
Hundreds of Sikhs from in and around Greater Washington DC area, Maryland and Virginia, along with many from other states like New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Ohio, and North Carolina, on Saturday carried out a car rally to the Indian Embassy in downtown Washington DC, where they gathered to express solidarity with the protesting farmers.
However, soon the peaceful protest took a violent turn, and Khalistani separatist Sikhs, who were carrying the Khalistan flags and anti-India banners and posters, hijacked the protest. They were seen flashing their kirpans. During the protest, many of the pro-Khalistan Sikhs jumped on the statue and pasted a Khalistani poster on the statue of Gandhi, raising their flag on top of it.
As per news agency PTI, another group of pro-Khalistani supporters hung a dummy of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s picture with a rope around the neck of the statue.
Their attack comes after even when a few months back in June the United States President Donald Trump has officially signed the executive order that states that an individual can be imprisoned for up to 10 years for damaging, vandalizing, or desecrating a monument, memorial, or a statue.
Officials of the Indian embassy said it has lodged a strong protest with US law enforcement agencies and has also taken up the matter with the US Department of State for an early investigation and action against the culprits under the applicable law. “The Embassy strongly condemns this mischievous act by hooligans masquerading as protesters against the universally respected icon of peace and justice,” officials said.