The statue of 19th Century Sikh ruler Maharaja Ranjit Singh renowned as 'Sher-e-Punjab' has been vandalised for the second time since its unveiling in 2019 at the Lahore Fort, officials said on Friday, December 11.
The nine-feet tall statue of the Sikh ruler Maharaja Ranjit Singh was unveiled at Lahore Fort on his 180th death anniversary in June 2019.
Barely 2 months after its unveiling, the statue was vandalised by two religious miscreants, Adnan Mughal and Asad in August 2019. According to reports, they were angry with the Indian government's decision to abrogate Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir.
An official of the Lahore Walled City Authority said that a teenage visitor broke the arm of the Maharaja's statue on Friday.
The statue was allegedly vandalised by a teenage religious zealot, he said. Following the incident, the authorities have closed the 'Mai Jinda' haveli at the fort in Punjab province where it was placed for public viewing.
The accused teenager has been identified as Zaheer, a resident of Harbanspura in the city.
"The security guards deployed there arrested the boy and handed him over to the police. The suspect has been booked under (sections) 295, 295-A and 427 of the Pakistan Penal Code," he said.
“The project was meant to commemorate the 180th death anniversary of Maharaja Ranjit Singh and to forge a lasting friendship amongst the people of Punjab,” said UK-based historian Bobby Singh Bansal.
His organisation SK Foundation, UK, commissioned the statue in 2016. “We donated it to the people of Pakistan to promote Sikh heritage and tourism here,” he had said. Maharaja Singh was the leader of the Sikh Empire, which ruled the northwest Indian subcontinent in the early half of the 19th century.
Maharaja Singh was the leader of the Sikh Empire, which ruled the northwest Indian subcontinent in the early half of the 19th century. He died in 1839.
Maharaja Ranjit Singh is well-known for the golden beautification of the Harmandir Sahib Gurdwara in Amritsar, Golden Temple.