Raja Ranjit Singh – vandalism of Sikh statue by radicals in Pakistan
Courtersy: Express Tribune
It is reported by the ‘Express Tribune’ that an activist of the banned political party ‘Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan’ (TLP) vandalized the statue of Maharaja Ranjit Singh - the ruler of the Sikh empire during the 19th century - placed near Lahore fort.
It is further reported that the Punjab Police arrested the perpetrator on the 17th of August. According to the Lahore fort administration, strict action would be taken against the accused.
Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry condemned the incident by tweeting that “this bunch of illiterates are really dangerous for Pakistan image in the world”. The Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Political Communication Dr Shahbaz Gill regarded such actions as “symptoms of a sick mindset”.
Previously, Ranjit Singh’s statue has been vandalized twice, i.e. in December 2020 and August 2019.
Such an attack reflects the prejudice of some radical, or even outlawed, groups in Pakistan towards minority communities. This action has curtailed some of the fundamental rights enshrined in the Constitution of Pakistan for its citizens, which include minority communities. Through the destruction of the statue, a symbol for Pakistani Sikhs, freedom of religion is curtailed and religious minorities continue to live in fear because of their personal faith.