A nine-feet tall cold bronze statue of the first Sikh ruler Maharaja Ranjit Singh was on Tuesday vandalised by an activist of the banned Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) at the Lahore Fort in Pakistan’s Punjab province, according to media reports.
As per the video that has gone viral, the accused could be seen chanting slogans, breaking the arm of the statue and dismantling Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s bust from the horse and throwing it on ground before being pulled by another man.
The TLP activist has been arrested by the Punjab police, the Express Tribune newspaper reported.
The Lahore Fort’s administration said that strict action would be taken against the accused.
Reacting to the incident, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhary in a tweet said that such “illiterates are really dangerous” for Pakistan’s image internationally.
Special Assistant to the Prime Minister Imran Khan on Political Communication Dr Shahbaz Gill said that immediate action will be taken against the accused.
“These are symptoms of a sick mindset. This is an attempt to undermine Pakistan’s assessment,” he was quoted as saying in the report.
The nine-feet tall statue, made of cold bronze, shows the Sikh emperor sitting on a horse with a sword in hand in complete Sikh attire.
The statue was unveiled in June 2019.
This is not the first time that the statue has been targeted. The arm of the statue was broken in Lahore last year. It was also damaged in August 2019 by two young men, according to Geo News.
Maharaja Ranjit Singh was the founder of the Sikh Empire, which ruled the northwest Indian subcontinent in the early half of the 19th century.