A member of Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP), who vandalized Maharaja Ranjit Singh's statue at the Lahore Fort in Pakistan, has been arrested by the cops. This is the third such attack on the statute since it was installed in 2019.
The video of the statute being vandalized by the member of the TLP party went viral on social media and garnered widespread criticism. Pakistan's Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Ch Fawad Hussain condemned the incident on Twitter.
He posted, "#Shameful this bunch of illiterates are really dangerous for Pakistan image in the world." As per journalist Shiraz Hassan, the miscreant has been arrested by the cops.
"The statue of Maharaja Ranjit Singh has been broken by a person named Rizwan at #Lahore Fort - the culprit has been arrested." He posted along with the viral video of the statute being demolished by the member of Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan.
He also shared the picture of the "culprit" in prison.
The statue was made of cold bronze. It was unveiled in a grand event in 2019 on the occasion of his 180 death anniversary which had the presence of Sikh delegates from India, Pakistan and other countries. It showcased the emperor sitting on a horse with a sword
A month after the inauguration, two young men from Tehreek-Labbaik Pakistan had vandalized the statue. Similarly, in December 2020, it came under attack from a teenager associated with the same political party.
Who was Maharaja Ranjit Singh?
Popularly known as Sher-e-Punjab (Lion of Punjab), he was the first king of the Sikh empire. His kingdom ruled the Northwestern Indian subcontinent. Despite losing his left eye due to smallpox in his very childhood he was a brave warrior and a king who defeated outside armies, particularly the forces from Afghanistan, as per historians.
Coming to Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan, it was founded by late Khadim Hussain Rizvi in 2015. The far-right Islamist party became the fifth largest party in the 2018 general elections although it could not win a single seat.