A nine-feet tall statue of Maharaja Ranjit Singh in Lahore in Pakistan was vandalised yesterday. Located outside the Haveli of Rani Jindan Kaur, wife of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, at Lahore Fort, the statue was vandalised by a person identified as Zaheer Ishaq on December 11. Ishaq was caught by a security guard on the spot after he broke the left arm of the statue. The culprit who is said to be a staunch follower of late Maulana Khadim Hussain Rizvi, was reportedly opposed to the placing of the brave Sikh king at Lahore fort because he had converted the Badshahi mosque into a horse stable.
Zaheer Ishaq said that Ranjeet Singh had killed several Muslims and harmed the sentiments of Muslim community. That is why he damaged the statue.
The Ranjit Singh statue was attacked earlier too
This is the second time that the statue was attacked. Earlier, the statue was attacked soon after it was unveiled in June 2019. Two men belonging to Tehreek-Labbaik founded by Maulana Khadim Rizvi, had reportedly desecrated the statue in August last year after Indian government abrogated Article 370 applicable to Jammu and Kashmir.
Statue was installed to commemorate Maharaja’s legacy
The bronze statue was unveiled last year on the occasion of 180th death anniversary of the Maharaja who had died in 1839. The statue sculpted by the local artists under the guidance of Fakir Khana Museum, was installed by UK-based group Sarkar Khals Foundation (SKF). It was installed to commemorate the legacy of the Maharaja who ruled over the Sikh empire in the Punjab region in the early half of the 19th century.