• Thursday, July 25, 2024

EUROPE

A day before Modi’s visit for G7, Gandhi bust vandalised in Italy

The bust was scheduled to be inaugurated by the Indian PM during his visit to the European nation, reports said.

Police officers stand outside the G7 Italy 2024 media centre in Bari, Italy, on June 11, 2024. (Photo by PIERO CRUCIATTI/AFP via Getty Images)

By: Shubham Ghosh

THE Khalistan concern came to the fore once again for the Narendra Modi government of India as a bust of iconic leader Mahatma Gandhi was allegedly vandalised by pro-Khalistan elements in Italy, where the Indian prime minister is set to travel on Thursday (13) to attend the 50th G7 summit, which is set to begin the same day.

The vandalised bust was scheduled to be inaugurated by Modi during his visit, reports said.

The accused also left controversial slogans related to slain Khalistan separatist Hardeep Singh Nijjar at the base of the structure. Local authorities said the area was cleaned up in “record time”.

New Delhi reportedly took up the matter with relevant authorities in Rome, Indian foreign secretary Vinay Kwatra said during an interaction with the media.

Read: Modi set to visit Italy for G7, his first foreign visit in new term

Indian PM Narendra Modi and his Italian counterpart Georgia Meloni
Indian prime minister Narendra Modi shakes hand with his Italian counterpart Giorgia Meloni during the G20 Leaders’ Summit in New Delhi on September 9, 2023. (Photo by EVAN VUCCI/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Vandalism of Indian and Hindu temples by alleged Khalistan extremists have been on the rise in a number of western nations, including Canada, forcing the Indian government to take up the matter

On the G7 summit where top leaders such as US president Joe Biden, his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron, British prime minister Rishi Sunak, Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau and others will be present, Kwatra said Modi’s presence would create an opportunity to follow up on the outcomes of the G20 summit that was held under the presidency of India last year.

Read: G7 pushes for free and open Indo-Pacific region

Modi has been invited to the summit by his Italian counterpart Giorgia Meloni and the two are expected to hold bilateral talks during the event which will be held in Fasano in the Apulia region of the southern European nation.

The ongoing conflicts in Ukraine and Gaza will feature in the talks and Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy is scheduled for a session on the invasion by Moscow in his country.

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