Ontario: A statue of Mahatma Gandhi at a Hindu temple in Canada was desecrated on Wednesday and is being investigated as a hate crime, the local police said. A five-metre-tall statue of Mahatma Gandhi was defaced at a Vishnu temple in Richmond Hill, a city in Ontario province. According to media reports, the person defaced the statue with “graphic words”, including “rapist” and “Khalistan”. Mahatma Gandhi’s statue is said to be at its current location, a peace park, for over three decades.

“We are distressed at the desecration of Mahatma Gandhi statue at Vishnu temple in Richmond Hill. This criminal, hateful act of vandalism has deeply hurt the sentiments of the Indian community in Canada.  We are in contact with Canadian authorities to investigate this hate crime,” the Consulate General of India, Toronto, tweeted.