No lasting damage to dishonoured Gandhi statue in New York

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There is no lasting damage to the statue of Mahatma Gandhi that was dishonoured by vandals here earlier this month, according to sources involved in the investigation.

The City Hall sources said that the vandals had placed a cloth on the statue and wrote obscenities on it, rather than directly on the statue itself saving it from even temporary damage necessitating a clean-up.

The statue in Union Square was vandalised on February 4, creating a strong reaction from the Indian American community and the Indian consulate.

This was the second attack on a Gandhi statue in the US within two weeks.

A statue of Gandhi in Washington was vandalised on India’s Republic Day, January 26, reportedly by Khalistan supporters.

A State Department spokesperson expressed concern over the defacements of the statues and said, “The Department recognises the continued importance of Gandhi’s message of non-violence, respect, and tolerance.”

The Chairman of Global Organisation of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO) International, Thomas Abraham, said: “We Indian-Americans are deeply hurt by the disrespect shown to Gandhiji.”

The Gandhi statue in New York City is located near New York University and had been the subject of a petition drive on change.org purportedly by students there to remove it.

It garnered only 38 signatures over two years.

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