The Mahatma Gandhi’s statue outside the Indian Embassy in Washington D.C. desecrated by unruly elements involved in the ongoing protests in the United States. Sources told ANI that United States Park Police have launched an investigation into the matter.
The locals in the area told ANI that some unruly elements of the #BlackLivesMatters protesters graffitied Gandhi’s statue with profanities. The status was later covered up and an investigation launched by the local Park Police in charge of protection of monuments in the area. The statue was graffitied with spray paint.
However, further details into the matter are awaited.
Almost every city in the United States has been marred by violent protests following the death of black American man, George Floyd, in police custody in the city of Minneapolis in Minnesota. The initial protests against police brutality and racism in various cities in the United States were soon replaced by incidents of violence across the country.
After a shocking incident of vandalism of Mahatma Gandhi’s statue in Washington D.C emerged, the United States’ Ambassador to India Kenneth Juster has apologised on Thursday.
Taking to Twitter, Juster has said that he is appalled by both on the killing of George Floyd and the ‘awful’ violence and vandalism that has began in name of protests thereafter. He also assured that the US administration stands against prejudice and discrimination of any type, while also extending his ‘sorry’ to India.
The iconic bronze statue, designed by sculptor Gautam Pal, was gifted to the U.S. by India. Located in front of the Indian Embassy, the statue was unveiled by former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and the then U.S. President Bill Clinton on Sept. 16, 2000.
For over a week now there have been widespread protests around the United States. Tensions and violence continue to escalate in many areas including outside the White House, with protesters demanding justice for Georgy Floyd and his family under the banner of #BlackLivesMatter.
The 46-year-old George Floyd had died while being restrained by Minneapolis police. A video went viral in which a white police officer is seen kneeling on Floyd’s neck despite Floyd’s continuous plea stating that he could not breathe. The officer, Derek Chauvin, has been charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter and is scheduled to appear in court this week. Three other police officers have been fired and deliberations are ongoing as to what punishment should be meted out to them.
On June 1, United States President Donald Trump declared himself “the president of law and order” and announced deployment of the United States military to American cities to quell a rise of violent protests. Narrating a series of incidents where people have been attacked and buildings have been vandalized during the on-going protest while also ensuring justice to George Floyd and his family, Trump said that violent acts are not of ‘peaceful protesters but are examples of domestic terror’.