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Bust of Mahatma Gandhi beheaded on B.C. university campus

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Authorities are asking witnesses to come forward after security at Simon Fraser University discovered the head of the school's Mahatma Gandhi bust had been removed.

It’s unclear when the head was stolen but police believe power tools were used in the theft.

A number of Gandhi statues across the country have been the target of vandalism in recent years, and police said SFU’s bust had previously been vandalized with paint.

On Monday, the Consulate General of India in Vancouver released a statement on the statue’s decapitation on Twitter.

"We strongly condemn heinous crime of vandalizing the statue of harbinger of peace Mahatma Gandhiji," read the statement. "The Canadian authorities are urged to investigate the matter urgently and bring the perpetrators to justice swiftly."

The university said it is supporting Burnaby RCMP in their investigation.

"We are deeply disappointed that someone would do such an act. Vandalism of any kind is unacceptable and will not be tolerated," read a tweet by SFU Communications.

According to the Burnaby Art Gallery website, the sculpture was created by the Wagh Brothers at their Fine Arts Studio in Bombay, India in 1969. The website adds the following description: "This bronze bust of Mahatma Gandhi, a profoundly spiritual man whose teachings continue to inspire others, was generously donated to SFU by the East Indian community of British Columbia."

As of Tuesday at noon, the entire statue had been removed.

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