Gandhi statue in New York smashed by 6 men amid ongoing wave of attacks
A statue of Mahatma Gandhi in front of a temple in New York was toppled and shattered in the second attack on the memorial this month and a local volunteer watch group stepped in to protect it.
The incident in the early hours of Tuesday was the latest in a string of attacks on Gandhi statues across the United States.
Six men smashed the Sri Tulsi Mandir statue with a hammer and painted hate-filled words around and on the road, according to news reports citing police.
The statue had been vandalized earlier on August 3 and toppled, according to the Queens Daily Eagle.
Police released surveillance video of men between the ages of 25 and 30 believed to be involved in the attack.
They fled the scene in a white Mercedes Benz and a dark-colored car believed to be a Toyota Camry used as a rental vehicle, police say.
Assemblywoman Jennifer Rajkumar, the first Hindu elected to the New York State Legislature, told CBS New York TV on Thursday: ‘When the Gandhi statue was vandalized, it really flew in the face. of all our beliefs and it’s very disturbing to the community.”
“Knowing that Gandhi represents peace and someone would come and target the statue and vandalize it is very sad,” temple founder Pandit Maharaj told the New York Post.
Meanwhile, a volunteer watchdog group, the Cityline Ozone Park Civilian Patrol, tweeted Thursday that its members have increased their presence around the temple.
“We increased our presence in Tulsi Mandir and we were happy to see (the police) from 106 Precinct there as well. A big thank you to our four volunteers who went out for 7 hours during the night,” he said. said in a tweet.
After the first attack, Rajkumar had assembled several elected officials, including the House Foreign Affairs Committee Gregory Meeks, to condemn the attack and demand police action.
“Acts of hate have no place in our community and our nation and the perpetrators must be held accountable,” Meeks told the Daily Eagle.
The temple is located in South Richmond Park, an area with many people of Indian descent.
A combination of leftists and Khalistanis have targeted Gandhi statues across the United States, sometimes circulating petitions to remove them, as in the case of another statue in New York that was also vandalized by placing a shroud over them, and at other times by damaging them.
During protests against police excesses in February 2020, a statue in Washington had vile personal attacks on Gandhi and anti-Indian slogans painted on it.
It was vandalized again in December of the same year by pro-Khalistani elements during a demonstration in support of the farmers’ agitation in India.
In another incident, a statue of Gandhi was cut in the leg and toppled and his head was cut in half in Davis, California in January last year.
The same statue had also been vandalized with slogans in June 2020.
Speaking to the New York Post, Rajkumar noted that “Hindu hatred is on the rise”.
A recent report from Rutgers University’s Network Contagion Lab said it found evidence of a sharp increase in hate speech directed at the Hindu community and blamed white supremacists for it.
However, the appearance of the suspects in the video released by the police appears to be white.
Additionally, Maharaj told local outlet QNS, “The first time it happened the person was speaking Spanish. This time they were speaking Hindi.”
Rajkumar told QNS, “I have spoken with government leaders across the country. All have pledged to redouble their efforts to combat anti-Hindu hatred.”
(Only the title and image of this report may have been edited by Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)