A lawmaker in the US asked Tuesday for an investigation into vandalism of a statue of Mahatma Gandhi in the state of California, according to local media.

A bronze statue of Indian anti-colonial nationalist leader Gandhi was ripped from its base and broken last week by unknown people in the city of Davis.

The city has also opened a case investigating the incident.

Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi, who was born in New Delhi, India, condemned the “malicious act in the strongest terms” and he called on the FBI to investigate it as a possible hate crime.

The desecration of the statue of nonviolent resistance icon reminds that how important his teachings remain, said the Democratic lawmaker who represents Illinois’ 8th Congressional District.

Other lawmakers also condemned the incident, while the US observes Black History Month during February.

Democratic Representative Josh Harder from California wrote on Twitter: “Gandhi stood for peace, nonviolence, and justice. We are better than acts of hate like this.”

Pete Sessions, a Republican Representative from Texas, wrote on social media that “the statue of Mahatma Gandhi was donated by the government of India to all Americans as a symbol of peace. This hate crime must not be tolerated. Restoration of this great statue must be done.”

“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,” Congressman Ami Bera said in a statement.

“The strength of our country lies in our diversity, but also in our ability to peacefully express our opinions and differences. Vandalization and destruction of property is unacceptable and has no place in our society,” added the Democratic lawmaker representing California’s 7th Congressional District.

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