In a sign of escalating intolerance in Pakistan, India denounced the vandalism of Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s statue in Lahore on Tuesday. “We have noticed distressing stories in the media today concerning the vandalism of Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s statue in Lahore. This is the third time the statue has been vandalized since it was erected in 2019 “In response to a question, External Affairs Ministry (EAM) Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi stated.
According to the spokesperson, such attacks on minority populations’ cultural legacy reflect Pakistani society’s lack of respect for minority cultures. “Incidents of violence against minority populations, including attacks on their places of worship, cultural heritage, and private property, are on the rise. Only twelve days ago, a mob assaulted and desecrated a Hindu temple in Pakistan’s Rahim Yar Khan ” Bagchi stated.
The Pakistani government has entirely failed in its responsibility to prevent such assaults. This is creating a fearful environment for minority communities to exercise their faith, he added. The spokesperson also urged Pakistan’s government to safeguard the safety, security, and well-being of its minority groups.
This is the third time this has happened in recent years. In December 2020, Ranjit Singh’s statue was again defaced. According to Samaa TV, the Lahore police apprehended a man and recovered a hammer from his hands.
The nine-foot-tall cold bronze monument was erected on June 27, 2019, at the Lahore Fort to commemorate the former ruler’s 180th death anniversary.
Maharaja Ranjit Singh, often known as the Lion of Punjab, was the Sikh Empire’s first Maharaja, ruling over Punjab for nearly four decades.