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.
In a viral video, a TLP worker can be seen pulling down Ranjit Singh's statue at the Lahore Fort. The statue had previously been vandalized by TLP workers on at least two different occasions in the past, once in 2019 and once in 2020.
Pakistan's Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Chaudhry Fawwad Hussain termed the incident "shameful". "This bunch of illiterates are really dangerous for Pakistan image in the world," he tweeted reacting to the video.
The nine feet tall statue, made of cold bronze, showed the regal Sikh emperor sitting on a horse, sword in hand, complete in Sikh attire was unveiled in June 2019. Maharaja Ranjit Singh was the first Maharaja of the Sikh empire. Before his death in 1839, he ruled over Punjab for nearly 40 years. Funded by UK-based Sikh Heritage Foundation, the statue was built and installed by the Walled City of Lahore Authority (WCLA).
The attackers were of the view that its against their religion to erect a statue in a Muslim country and they would repeat the act if the authorities did not remove it, back when it was first erected in 2019.