Mahatma Gandhi’s statue vandalised at Canada university campus | World News

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Mahatma Gandhi’s statue vandalised at Canada university campus | World News

TORONTO: In the second such incident in a week, a bust of Mahatma Gandhi on a university campus in British Columbia was attacked and beheaded by unidentified vandals.

The bust of Mahatma Gandhi on the campus of Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada was decorated with a garland on October 2nd each year. (Included photo) {{^userSubscribed}} {{/userSubscribed}} {{^userSubscribed}} {{/userSubscribed}}

The incident is said to have happened on Monday. The bust of the Mahatma was located in Peace Park on the campus of Simon Fraser University (SFU) in the city of Burnaby, British Columbia.

The vandalism sparked a sharp response from the Indian Consulate in Vancouver, which tweeted: “We strongly condemn the heinous crime of destroying the statue of the Messenger of Peace, Mahatma Gandhi.”

“Canadian authorities are urged to urgently investigate the matter and swiftly bring the perpetrators to justice,” the consulate added.

The bust has been a permanent fixture on campus since 1970 and was created at the Wagh Brothers Fine Arts Studio in Mumbai.

On October 2nd every year, the university organizes a garland of the bust.

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Just last Thursday, a statue of Mahatma Gandhi, located at City Hall in the city of Hamilton, Ontario, was defaced and spray-painted with anti-India and pro-Khalistan graffiti near its pedestal. This incident is being investigated by the Hamilton Police Hate Crime Unit.

A statue of Mahatma Gandhi located in the Vishnu Mandir in Richmond Hill was also defaced in July last year. The 20 foot tall bronze statue was located in the Temple’s Peace Park.

Similar incidents have continued over the past nine months. In February, a Greater Toronto Area (GTA) Hindu temple was desecrated and its back wall was spray-painted with anti-India and pro-Khalistan graffiti. The target of vandalism was the Shri Ram Mandir in the city of Mississauga in the GTA. On January 30th, the Gauri Shankar Mandir in Brampton was similarly desecrated.

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None of these incidents have led to arrests so far. While they have been linked by some to the so-called Punjab referendum organized by the secessionist group Sikhs for Justice (SFJ), Canadian law enforcement has yet to make that connection.

Statues of the Mahatma have been attacked in North America before. In February last year, one was discovered decapitated in New York, while another was destroyed in Davis, California in January 2021.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Anirudh Bhattacharya is a Toronto-based commentator on North American issues and author. He has also worked as a journalist in New Delhi and New York in print, television and digital media. He tweets as @anirudhb…View details