New Delhi, July 14:

India is “deeply anguished” by the hate crime that “seeks to terrorise the Indian community,” the High Commission in Canada said in a tweet after a statue of Mahatma Gandhi was targeted Wednesday in Ontario’s Richmond Hill city. A swift probe has been sought in the matter, it added.

“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,” the Indian High Commission said in a tweet.

The statue, which is five metres high, was defaced at Vishnu Mandir.

Police said they consider it a “hate bias motivated incident.” “Those who victimize others based on race, national or ethnic origin, language, colour, religion, age, gender, gender identity, gender expression and the like will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” Const. Amy Boudreau, spokesperson for York Regional Police was quoted. “York Regional Police does not tolerate hate crime in any form.”

The statue is said to be nearly 30 years old. “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 office of Consulate General of India in Toronto tweeted.

“We recognize that community-wide impact of hate crimes is far-reaching and we do vigorously investigate all occurrences of hate crimes and any hate bias incidents,” Boudreau further said in her remarks.

(Courtesy Hindustan Times)