The earthly remains of Mahatma Gandhi have been stolen from India’s Bapu Bhawan memorial, which has been the spiritual leader’s resting place since 1948, according to Indian news service The Wire.
Mangaldeep Tiwari, the memorial’s caretaker, discovered the crime Wednesday.
“I opened the gate of the Bhawan early in the morning because it was Gandhi’s birthday,” he told The Wire. “When I returned… I found the mortal remains of Gandhi missing and his poster was defaced.”
Tiwari said there are security cameras outside the memorial, which he thinks could help authorities track down whoever is responsible. The report identified the suspects as “unidentified men.”
Wednesday marked the 150th anniversary of Ghandi’s birth. The former lawyer and pacifist worked to peacefully help India gain independence from Great Britain, which was achieved in 1947. Gandhi also sought peace between Muslims and Hindus amidst tensions that arose following India’s independence. He was assassinated five months later by Hindu nationalist Nathuram Godse, who shot him at point blank range.
The words “anti-national” were painted over a rendering of Ghandi inside the desecrated memorial.
Ghandi’s birthday, known as Gandhi Jayanti, is a national holiday in India and it’s celebrated throughout the country.