The members of radical group Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan vandalised the statue of Maharaja Ranjit Singh in Lahore on Tuesday. The police have detained the man who carried out the act.
This is the third time that the Maharaja’s statue, located in high security Lahore Fort complex, has been vandalised.
The nine-feet statue, made of cold bronze, was unveiled at the Lahore Fort in June 2019 to mark the 180th death anniversary of the Maharaja. Singh, the first Maharaja of the Sikh Empire, ruled over Punjab for close to 40 years. He died in 1839.
The statue shows the regal Maharaja Ranjit Singh sitting on a horse, sword in hand, complete in Sikh attire.
Just two months after its unveiling, the statue was vandalised by two members of Tehreek-e-Labbaik. Both the men were arrested by the police. They entered the fort as a disabled person and his helper. The man who pretended to have a leg disability hit the statue with the rod he was carrying while the second person helped him. One of the arms of the statue and other parts were broken in the attack.
The police said that the attackers were of the view that it’s against their religion to erect a statue of a Sikh ruler in a Muslim country.
It took eight months to complete the statue of the Sikh ruler sitting on his favourite horse named Kahar Bahar with a sword in hand. The horse was a gift from Dost Muhammad Khan, the founder of the Barazkai dynasty.
The statue was built and installed by the Walled City of Lahore Authority (WCLA) in collaboration with the UK-based Sikh Heritage Foundation, which funded the project.