NEW YORK - Some of Indian independence leader Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi's belongings were sold at auction for $1.8 million on Thursday to an Indian tycoon who plans to donate them to his country. The seller had tried at the last minute to withdraw the items-Gandhi's trademark wire-rimmed glasses, worn leather chappals, a pocket watch and a metal bowl and plate - after the planned sale caused uproar in India. But the auction in New York went ahead despite protests by the Indian government. Mallya, who as head of UB Group runs Kingfisher Airlines and United Breweries that owns Kingfisher beer, will donate them to India for public display, Bedi said. "I am sure all Indians will be pleased that these Gandhi items will be coming home," Bedi told reporters. California-based collector James Otis, the seller, said earlier on Thursday that the items had been withdrawn. A lawyer for the peace activist said the sale was illegal. "I never intended for my actions to cause such controversy," Otis told reporters before the sale. "I pray the outcome is positive and one that Gandhi would approve of." He said he would have donated the items to India if the government had agreed to increase spending on the poor. The auction was sharply criticised in India. Many view the items as part of the national heritage and want them placed in a museum. Gandhi was a major figure in the struggle for Indian independence. He was assassinated in 1948 in New Delhi by a Hindu radical.