India condemns vandalization of Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s statue in Lahore

New Delhi: Highlighting the growing intolerance in Pakistan, India on Tuesday condemned the vandalization of the statue of Maharaja Ranjit Singh in Lahore.

“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 vandalised, since it was unveiled in 2019,” said External Affairs Ministry (EAM) Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi in response to a query.

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

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“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. It was only twelve days ago that a mob attacked and desecrated a Hindu temple in Rahim Yar Khan in Pakistan,” Bagchi 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, he added.

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 Lahore police have arrested a man and a hammer has been seized from his possession, Samaa TV reported.

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 close to four decades. 

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