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India Condemns Vandalization Of Statue In Pakistan

Highlighting the intolerance in Pakistan, India condemned the vandalization of the statue of Maharaja Ranjit Singh in Lahore.

NEW DELHI — The government of India, on Aug.17, condemned the vandalization of the statue of Maharaja Ranjit Singh in Pakistan’s Lahore, highlighting the growing intolerance in the country.

“We have seen disturbing reports in the media about the vandalization of the statue of Maharaja Ranjit Singh in Lahore today. This is the third such incident wherein the statue has been vandalized since it was unveiled in 2019,” said Arindam Bagchi, the Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson.

The spokesperson said that such attacks on the cultural heritage of minority communities highlight the lack of respect for minority communities in Pakistani society.

“Incidents of violence against minority communities, including attacks on their places of worship, their cultural heritage, as well as their private property, are increasing at an alarming rate. Only twelve days ago, a mob attacked and desecrated a Hindu temple in Rahim Yar Khan in Pakistan,” Bagchi said.

This is creating a climate of fear for the minority communities to practice their faith, he said.

“The Pakistani state has completely failed in its duty to prevent such attacks. This is creating a climate of fear for the minority communities to practice their faith. We call upon the Government of Pakistan to ensure the safety, security, and well-being of its minority communities,” said Bagchi.

The spokesperson further called upon the Government of Pakistan to ensure the safety, security, and well-being of its minority communities.

This incident has happened for the third time in recent years. Ranjit Singh’s statue was also vandalized in December 2020. The local media reported that the Lahore police have arrested a man, and a hammer has been seized from his possession.

The nine-foot-tall structure in cold bronze was unveiled at the Lahore Fort on June 27, 2019, to mark the former ruler’s 180th death anniversary.

Maharaja Ranjit Singh, known as Lion of Punjab, Singh was the first Maharaja of the Sikh Empire who ruled over Punjab for nearly four decades.

“Vandalism in Lahore of the statue of Maharaja Ranjit Singh Ji, the great unifier of India, has to be strongly condemned. This act which attempts to erase the shared history of the subcontinent, shows how extremist ideologies feel encouraged in our volatile neighborhood,” tweeted Hardeep Singh Puri, India’s Union Minister for Housing & Urban Affairs & Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas.

“The statue of Sikh ruler Ranjit Singhvandalizedd by a Tehreek-e-Labbaik Islamist with the chants of “Here I’m at your service, O Messenger of Allah.” Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan is the same outfit that demanded Sharia style beheadings of French diplomats in Pakistan over Charlie Hebdo cartoons,” tweeted Sonam Mahajan, a liberal activist.

(With inputs from ANI)

Edited by Saptak Datta and Ritaban Misra