Indian American lawmaker Ro Khanna hopes for peaceful resolution of farmersâ€™ stir in India.
As Khalistani separatists hijacked a protest in support of Indian farmers and vandalized a statue of Mahatma Gandhi in Washington, Indian American lawmaker Ro Khanna hoped for a peaceful and fair solution to the farmersâ€™ issues.
Hundreds of Sikh-American youths from Washington metropolitan area and several other states Saturday took out a car rally to the Indian Embassy in downtown Washington, DC, in support of farmers protesting against Indiaâ€™s three new farm laws
But hijacking the protest, several kirpan flashing youth carrying Khalistani flags and anti-India posters and banners jumped on the statue of Mahatma Gandhi in front of the Indian embassy and pasted a poster over it.
About half-an-hour later, another group of pro-Khalistani supporters raising anti-India and pro-Khalistan slogans, hung a dummy of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi with a rope around the neck of the statue.
The Indian Embassy condemned the â€œmischievous actâ€ by hooligans masquerading as protesters.
“The statue of Mahatma Gandhi at the Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Plaza in front of the Embassy was defaced by Khalistani elements on 12 Dec. 2020,â€ it stated.
â€œThe Embassy strongly condemns this mischievous act by hooligans masquerading as protesters against the universally respected icon of peace and justice.â€
The Embassy said it has lodged a strong protest with the US law enforcement agencies and has also taken up the matter with the State Department for an early investigation and action against the culprits.
Itâ€™s the second time in six months that Gandhi’s statue, unveiled by then-prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee in Sept. 2000, was vandalized by miscreants.
Farmers from different parts of India have been camping at various border points ofÂ the Indian capital of New Delhi for over two weeks demanding repeal of three farm laws.
Meanwhile, Indian American Congressman Ro Khanna hoped for a peaceful and fair solution to the farmers’ issues in India, saying he is encouraged by the ongoing dialogue between the protesting farmers and the government.
â€œIndia and the US share a rich tradition of democracy and peaceful protests. Farmworkers are the backbone of both our nations and must have their voices heard,â€ he tweeted Saturday.
I hope there’s a peaceful and fair solution so they can provide for their families,â€ wrote Khanna, 44, who was recently elected for a third consecutive term from Silicon Valley. â€œI am encouraged by the ongoing dialogue,â€ he added.
Several other American lawmakers including John Garamendi, Co-Chair of the American Sikh Caucus in Congress, have expressed concern over â€œhorrific crackdowns on protestors.â€ He was joined by Jim Costa and Shelia Jackson, members of the American Sikh Caucus.
â€œMany of these farmers have children, relatives, and friends who are US citizens, many of whom have reached out to us to share their concerns about these developments,â€ they wrote in letter to India’s Ambassador to the US, Taranjit Singh Sandhu last week.
â€œWe urge the Indian government to demonstrate its respect for these crucial democratic freedoms, and to be a model of democratic values in the vital Indo-Pacific region.”