Police reported that Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, or Mahatma Gandhi’s ashes have been stolen from his memorial in central India on the day of his 150th birthday.
The thieves also wrote “deshdrohi” (traitor) across Gandhi’s photos in the memorial.
The caretaker reportedly went to open the grounds of the Bapu Bhawan memorial early in the morning because it was the celebrated independence leader’s birthday.
“When I returned at around [1:30 AM], I found the mortal remains of Gandhi missing and his poster was defaced,” the caretaker said.
Gurmeet Singh, a political party leader, filed a complaint to the local police to investigate and urged authorities to check CCTV footage to catch the vandals.
Gandhi led a non-violence protest against British rule in India.
Even though Gandhi himself was Hindu, some Hindu hardliners accuse him of being “too pro-Muslim.” Some opposing factions even blame him for the separation of India and Pakistan in 1947.
Gandhi was assassinated in 1948 by a Hindu extremist.
Portions of his ashes were kept in other memorials and not scattered in a river according to Hindu practices.
Police in Rewa, Pradesh state in India stated that they are investigating the case as “actions prejudicial to national integration” and even an “intentional insult with an intent to provoke the breach of peace.”/TISG