US man sorry over Gandhi auction

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The US collector who this month sold rare belongings of Mahatma Gandhi has apologised in Delhi for "unintentional hurt" to Indian sentiments.

James Otis said the money raised from the auction would go to groups promoting Gandhian values.

He said the items had not arrived in India because of a row over taxes.

"I need to apologise because it hurt me that anyone would see my name and think I was doing it for profit," Mr Otis said in the Indian capital.

"I couldn't have dreamt of the worldwide attention that [the sale of] the belongings has sparked. I never intended to come out openly to discuss what I had done by selling the items, but when I heard my name was being hated by many in India I needed to speak out."

Before the auction went ahead Mr Otis offered to withdraw the items and donate them to India if the Indian government allocated 5% of its budgetary spending for the poor. India rejected his conditions.

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