A number of United States members of Congress have condemned the desecration of the Mahatma Gandhi statue in a city in California, with an Indian-American lawmaker on Tuesday calling for an FBI investigation into the incident. 

A six-foot-tall bronze statue of Gandhi in the Central Park of Davis, a city in Northern California, was vandalised, broken and ripped from the base by unknown miscreants last week, PTI reported. City authorities have since registered a case and are investigating the incident. 

“I condemn this malicious act in the strongest terms and I call upon the FBI to investigate it as a possible hate crime intended to intimidate Indian-Americans, among others,” Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi said.

“The desecration of a statue of Gandhi, who championed peace and non-violence and who continues to influence countless non-violent struggles for justice including in America, serves as a sad reminder of how important his teachings remain,” he added. 

Congressman Ami Bera also condemned the vandalisation of the statue in a separate statement. 

Also Read | White House condemns vandalism of Mahatma Gandhi statue in California

“Peaceful and non-violent protest, which was championed by civil rights leaders at home and abroad, including Dr Martin Luther King Jr and Gandhi, is a hallmark of American democracy.”

“The strength of our country lies in our diversity, but also in our ability to peacefully express our opinions and differences. Vandalisation and destruction of property is unacceptable and has no place in our society,” he said. 

Meanwhile, Congressman Josh Harder tweeted, “Gandhi stood for peace, nonviolence, and justice. We are better than acts of hate like this”. 

Congressman Pete Session said the statue was donated by the government of India to Americans as a symbol of peace. “This hate crime must not be tolerated. Restoration of this great statue must be done,” he tweeted.