Pro-Isis slogans and threats of an imminent terror attack have been daubed on a statue of Mahatma Gandhi in a small village in north-western India.
Images from the scene showed the face of the white statue had been smeared with brown paint, while the rest of the statue was covered in crude writing, including the word ‘Isis’.
Local reports suggest the rest of the writing included a warning about a terror attack scheduled to take place during Tuesday’s nationwide Republic Day celebrations, although these claims could not be independently verified.
The incident took place in the small village of Dudu, which is near Jaipur in the state of Rajasthan.
The CNN bureau in India tweeted that security teams have been deployed in the area following the vandalism, suggesting that the matter is being taken seriously by officials.
First India News described locals as being tense and angry over the incident, adding that they are demanding the police do everything possible to find and arrest those who were responsible.
Mahatma Gandhi's statue defaced in Dudu (Rajasthan), 'ISIS zindabad' scribbled on it. pic.twitter.com/mH6H3fRzfP— ANI (@ANI_news) January 25, 2016
The graffiti and its warning of an imminent attack come as widespread celebrations are predicted throughout India to celebrate Republic Day on Tuesday.
Even before the threats were made the country was placed on high alert after intelligence officials detected “chatter” between senior Isis commanders in Syria and a group of Indian sympathisers about carrying out an Isis-inspired attack disrupting Tuesday’s festivities.
On Sunday a car with military number plates was stolen in the capital New Delhi raising concerns that it could be used by potential terrorists to gain access to otherwise restricted locations.
This was the same technique used just last week when terrorists kidnapped a senior police officer in Punjab and used his car to enter a local air base where they opened fire.