A statue of 19th-century ruler Maharaja Ranjit Singh in Lahore was vandalised by two men on Saturday, Dawn reported. The king ruled the Sikh empire in the first half of the 19th century.
The men, carrying clubs and bricks, entered Mai Jinda’s Haveli at Lahore Fort, where the statue is located, and damaged a part of it. Ranjit Singh’s wife Maharani Jind Kaur used to live in the mansion. The police arrested the men, identified as Adnan Mughal and Asad, after onlookers informed them. A criminal case has been registered against the two, who are said to be members of a religious organisation.
A case has been filed under the country’s blasphemy laws, reported PTI. They were from the Tehreek-Labbaik Pakistan party of radical cleric Maulana Khadim Rizvi. The men were angry after India revoked Jammu and Kashmir’s special status last week.
The nine-foot-tall statue of Singh, who died in 1839, was unveiled in June on his 180th death anniversary. The statue, made of cold bronze, shows the emperor sitting on a horse, and carrying a sword. “This is quite unfortunate incident,” Walled City of Lahore Authority spokesperson Tania Qureshi told PTI. “We will enhance security at the Lahore Fort so that no such incident should take place in the future.”