Gandhi statue in Washington, DC defaced in George Floyd protests


America’s ambassador to India Kenneth I. Juster o Thursday apologized for the statue of Mahatma Gandhi in front of the Indian embassy in Washington, DC being defaced during one of the protests raging across the United States against the death of George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis.

Footage emerged on Thursday of the statue wrapped in plastic sheets to cover the vandalism.

“So sorry to see the desecration of the Gandhi statue in Wash, DC. Please accept our sincere apologies. Appalled as well by the horrific death of George Floyd & the awful violence & vandalism. We stand against prejudice & discrimination of any type. We will recover & be better,” Juster tweeted.

The bronze statue, by Kolkata-based sculptor Gautam Pal and a gift from the Indian Council for Cultural Relations, was unveiled on September 16, 2000 during a state visit of then Indian prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee in the presence of then US President Bill Clinton.

The statue is mounted on a 16-ton plinth of ruby granite from Ilkal, Karnataka, according to Wikipedia. It bears an inscription with Gandhi’s answer to a journalist who asked for the Mahatma’s message to the world: “My life is my message.”

The United States Park Police have reportedly launched a probe into the desecration of the statue, which is one of the many incidents of destruction of property across America during the protests.

Thousands of demonstrators have hit the streets against the death of Floyd, one of the many incidents of white policemen allegedly using excessive force against black suspects.

“I can’t breathe,” Floyd’s apparent last words as an officer choked him with his knee, have become a rallying cry against racism in the US.