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Controversial Gandhi statue in Davis vandalized, had head sawed off, police say

Davis police discovered the vandalism as crews surveyed the city for weather damage.

DAVIS, Calif. — The Davis Police Department is investigating the vandalism of a statue of Mahatma Gandhi after discovering its head had been sawed off. 

Deputy Chief Paul Doroshov with the Davis Police Department told ABC10 that the statue, which has been in Central Park since 2016, was discovered vandalized on Thursday morning around 9 a.m. as city crews surveyed storm damage. 

According to the Doroshov an unknown suspect or suspects cut down the statue at the ankles, then sawed off a portion of the head, which is still missing at this time. The remainder of the Gandhi statue has been removed from the area, and a fence has been put up around the statue's base. 

This particular statue has long been a source of controversy for some Davis residents. ABC10 previously reported in 2016 on the public outcry that ignited in the wake of the announcement that the statue would be placed in Central Park. The statue was officially erected on Oct. 2, 2016.

The motivation for the vandalism is unclear, according to Doroshov. He said that Davis Police is currently investigating the incident, and taking it seriously due to the fact that Gandhi is a cultural icon to some in the city.  However, the Davis Police Department is currently focused on urgent public safety situations in the wake of the storm at this time. As more information becomes available, Davis Police will continue to update the public.

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