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In a possible hate crime, unidentified persons have destroyed a handcrafted statue of Mahatma Gandhi with a sledgehammer at a Hindu temple here after vandalising it earlier this month, media reports said on Friday.

Surveillance video shows a person thrashing a statue of Gandhi with a sledgehammer on Tuesday, before smashing the head off and toppling it over, according to cbsnews.com.

Minutes later, a group of six stomp on it and take turns hammering the statue before taking off, the



report said.

"To see them coming after us like this is very painful," Lakhram Maharaj, the founder of Shri Tulsi Mandir, situated in South Richmond Hill was quoted as saying in the report.

Maharaj discovered the Gandhi statue was reduced to rubble on Wednesday morning.

The word "dog" was spray painted both in front of the temple and down the block, it said.

The same Gandhi statue was vandalised two weeks ago, investigating officials said.
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