White House press secretary Cali McCanni called the incident of disrespect of Mahatma Gandhi’s statue outside the Indian embassy here as “shocking” and said his reputation should be respected.
The Sikh-American youth demonstrated here on Saturday in support of farmers opposing the new agricultural laws in India and during this time Khalistani separatists disrespected the statue of Mahatma Gandhi outside the Indian embassy in the US.
In a press conference, McCanni answered a question about the incident, saying, “It is condemnable.” No statue or memorial should be disrespected, and especially with a statue of a person like Gandhi, who must fight for the values of peace, justice and freedom that America represents. ‘
He said that it is shocking that this happened more than once and we believe that the Mahatma Gandhi statue should be respected, especially here in the US capital. A spokesman for the Ministry of External Affairs said on Tuesday that he was aware of the recent demonstrations in front of the Indian Embassy in Washington DC.
The spokesman said that we take the responsibility of protecting the foreign mission in America seriously and are in talks with the Indian embassy on the recent incident. Hundreds of Sikhs from Greater Washington DC, Maryland and Virginia, as well as states from New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Ohio and North Carolina, took out a car rally on Saturday to the Indian Embassy in Washington DC.
Meanwhile, some Sikhs came there with Khalistani flags along with anti-India posters and banners. Some of these Khalistan supporters came in front of Mahatma Gandhi’s statue with a saber in Sikh hands and affixed a poster on it. The group shouted slogans in support of anti-India and Khalistan.
The Indian embassy issued a statement condemning “this evil act of people who commit hooliganism as protesters”. The embassy said that it has lodged a strong protest in this regard with US law enforcement agencies and has also taken up the matter with the US State Department for investigation and action under the law.
This statue of Mahatma Gandhi was unveiled by the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee on September 16, 2000 in the presence of the then US President Bill Clinton. This incident of disrespect of the statue has happened for the second time. Earlier on midnight of June 2 and 3, some unknown miscreants disrespected the statue of Mahatma Gandhi, after which the mission filed a complaint with the local law enforcement agencies. The incident happened on May 25 in Minneapolis during demonstrations against the death of African-American George Floyd in police custody.