A handcrafted statue of Mahatma Gandhi was sledgehammered to pieces at a Hindu temple in this city by unknown individuals in what appears to be a hate crime, according to media reports on Friday. The statue had previously been vandalised earlier this month.
A sledgehammer is seen being used to smash the head off of a statue of Gandhi on surveillance video that was taken on Tuesday.
According to the report, a group of six people attack the statue minutes later by trampling on it and repeatedly hammering it before leaving.
Shri Tulsi Mandir’s founder, Lakhram Maharaj, was quoted in the report as saying, “To see them coming after us like this is very painful.” Shri Tulsi Mandir is located in South Richmond Hill.
In the early hours of Wednesday, Maharaj found the Gandhi statue in ruins.
It stated that “dog” had been spray painted on the street and in front of the temple.
Inquiring authorities reported that the same Gandhi statue had been vandalised two weeks prior.
Assembly member Jenifer Rajkumar stated in the report that the vandalism of the Gandhi statue “really flew in the face of all of our beliefs and it’s very disturbing for the community.”
According to news reports, the New York Police Department is looking into both incidents as potential hate crimes.
Many people in the neighbourhood, according to Maharaj, are now afraid to visit the temple.
I can’t show the congregation my worry because if I do, they won’t know how to be strong. He was quoted as saying in the news item. The Gandhi statue was handcrafted and cost the temple authorities about USD 4,000, so they are unable to afford to replace it, according to the report.
Maharaj said, “I want to know why they did it. This isn’t the first time a Gandhi statue has been vandalised in the US.
An eight-foot-tall statue of Gandhi that was in Union Square in Manhattan was vandalised in February of this year by unidentified people.
In front of the Indian Embassy in Washington, DC, Khalistani supporters desecrated a Gandhi statue in December 2020.
The incident was described as “terrible” by Kayleigh McEnany, the White House press secretary at the time.