New Delhi: The statue of Mahatma Gandhi was tampered in a Hindu temple located in Richmond Hill, Nada. Police say that it is being investigated as a hate crime. According to the York Regional Police, a five-metre-tall statue was defaced at the Vishnu Temple in the area of Yonge Street and Garden Avenue. The officers were called to the spot at around 12.30 pm.
York Regional Police spokeswoman Amy Boudreau said someone distorted the statue – with “graphic words”. He said that Khalistan was also written on the idol. “York regional police do not tolerate hate crimes in any form,” he said. “Those who cause suffering to others on grounds of race, national or ethnic origin, language, colour, religion, age, sex, gender identity, gender expression and the like shall be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” he said. ”
‘This statue has been around for more than 30 years’
The temple’s president Dr. Budhendra Dubey said that the idol has been in its present location, a peace park, for more than 30 years. He said that it has never been damaged in any way. Its damage was discovered early on Wednesday. “Along with a sense of displeasure, I was also disappointed,” he said.
Dr. Budhendra Dubey said, “We have lived so peacefully here in Richmond Hill for all these years and nothing like this has ever happened. We hope these things don’t happen. But what can you do?” He said, “If we can live the way Gandhiji taught us, then we will not hurt anyone or any community.”
India seeks strict action
The Consulate General of India in Toronto and the High Commission of India in Ottawa condemned the incident. Both said they had contacted Canadian authorities about the crime.
The consulate general termed it a “criminal, despicable act of barbarism”. The High Commission said that the crime has raised “anxiety and insecurity in the Indian community.”
“We are deeply anguished by this hate crime that seeks to terrorize the Indian community. It has led to increased concern and insecurity in the Indian community here. We have approached the Canadian government to investigate and ensure perpetrators are brought to justice swiftly,” they said in a tweet.
We are deeply anguished by this hate crime that seeks to terrorize the Indian community. It has led to increased concern and insecurity in the Indian community here. We have approached the Canadian government to investigate and ensure perpetrators are brought to justice swiftly. https://t.co/wDe3BUpEWi
— India in Canada (@HCI_Ottawa) July 13, 2022