Gandhi was revered as the "father of the nation" by Indians.
  • The ashes of Mahatma Gandhi were stolen from the Bapu Bhawan memorial in Pradesh, central India on the 150th anniversary of his birth.
  • According to Indian news site The Wire a photograph of the Indian civil rights leader's face was also defaced with paint, with the graffiti calling the civil rights leader an "anti-nationalist."
  • A caretaker at the memorial found that an urn containing some of his ashes was missing late on Wednesday evening.
  • Police confirmed to the BBC they are investigating the theft on the grounds of actions "prejudicial to national integration."
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An urn containing the ashes of Indian civil rights leader Mahatma Gandhi was stolen on the 150th anniversary of his birth.

The ashes were stolen from the Bapu Bahwan memorial in Madhya, Pradesh in central India.

Read more: 7 quotes from Gandhi that show why he's so revered - and 2 favorites that he probably never said.

According to local Indian news site The Wire the caretaker of the centre, which acts as a memorial to Gandhi, discovered that the ashes were missing at 23:00 local time on Wednesday.

The caretaker, Mangaldeep Tiwari, called the act "shameful".

"I opened the gate of the Bhawan early in the morning because it was Gandhi's birthday. When I returned at around 11 p.m. I found the mortal remains of Gandhi missing and his poster was defaced," Tiwari told The Wire.

The posters Tiwari describes as "defaced" were of the civil rights activist's face, and were painted with "rashtra drohi," which means "anti-nationalist" in Hindi, according to The Wire.

Police confirmed to the BBC they were investigating the theft on the grounds of actions "prejudicial to national integration."

Gandhi was revered as the "father of the nation" after he led a resistance movement which ultimately culminated in India's independence from Britain in 1947.

He was assassinated by a Hindu extremist in January 1948.

Following his death, Gandhi's ashes were sent around the country to various memorials due to his fame, one of which was the Bapu Bhawan memorial.

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