Mahatma Gandhi's statue vandalised in Australia a day after unveiling

Published on Nov 16, 2021 07:46 AM IST

According to a report by SBS News, the incident occurred a day after Prime Minister Scott Morrison unveiled the statue at the Australian Indian Community Centre in Rowville on Friday along with the Consul General of India Raj Kumar and other leaders of Australia.

Condemning the act, Morrison told SBS News that he was devastated to hear about the vandalism, adding that attacks on cultural monuments will not be tolerated.(AFP)
Condemning the act, Morrison told SBS News that he was devastated to hear about the vandalism, adding that attacks on cultural monuments will not be tolerated.(AFP)
Written by Harshit Sabarwal | Edited by Meenakshi Ray, New Delhi

A life-sized statue of Mahatma Gandhi, gifted by the Indian government, was vandalised in Australia's Melbourne last Saturday, reports have said.

According to a report by SBS News, the incident occurred a day after Prime Minister Scott Morrison unveiled the statue at the Australian Indian Community Centre in Rowville on Friday along with the Consul General of India Raj Kumar and other leaders of Australia.

Condemning the act, Morrison told SBS News that he was devastated to hear about the vandalism, adding that attacks on cultural monuments will not be tolerated.

"It is disgraceful and extremely disappointing to see this level of disrespect. Whoever is responsible for this has shown great disrespect to the Australian-Indian community and should be ashamed," Morrison added.

Meanwhile, Australia India Community Charitable Trust chair Vasan Srinivasan said the offenders were trying to cut off the head of the statute by grinding around it. With nearly 300,000 Indians living in Victoria, Srinivasan said it was never expected that such an act could take place.

The Australian Indian Community Centre in Rowville is the first such centre of the Indian community in Victoria and was established after three decades of effort, Surya Prakash Soni, president of the Federation of Indian Associations of Victoria, said, according to a report by the ABC.

The Victoria Police said that an unknown number of offenders used a tool to decapitate the statue between last Friday and Saturday, the ABC report said, adding the Knox Crime Investigation Unit detectives are probing the matter and have urged witnesses to come forward with any details.

In January this year, a statue of Mahatma Gandhi was vandalised in the United States in the Central Park of the City of Davis in Northern California.

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