A video is circulating on social media where a man is pulling down Ranjit Singh’s statue at the Lahore Fort. According to reports, the man is allegedly a worker from Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP).
Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan is a far-right Islamist political party in Pakistan. Back in April, the government declared TLP a terror organization and banned it. The decision came due to the violent protests TLP conducted in Islamabad.
In the video, the TLP worker can be seen wreaking havoc over the statue. At first, the TLP worker broke off the statue’s arm. Then after a couple of attempts, he pushed off the entire figure of Ranjit Singh which fell to the ground with a crash.
During the entire process, the man kept on chanting “Labbaik ya Rasool Allah.”
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Fortunately, several people rushed to the scene to restrain the man, preventing him from attacking Ranjit Singh’s statue any further.
The video is making the rounds on Twitter with many condemning the vandalism. Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry also shared the video by calling the act shameful.
“Shameful, this bunch of illiterates is really dangerous for Pakistan’s image in the world,” the Minister tweeted.
#Shameful this bunch of illiterates are really dangerous for Pakistan image in the world https://t.co/TXoAXCQtWW
— Ch Fawad Hussain (@fawadchaudhry) August 17, 2021
Furthermore, Twitteratis claimed that the Taliban’s recent “victory” in Afghanistan inspired the TLP worker. 20 years ago, when the Taliban first took over, they blew up the world’s tallest Buddhas in Afghanistan’s Bamiyan valley. As a result, the TLP worker took a leaf out of the Taliban’s book and conducted his own “jihaad” against Ranjit Singh’s statue.
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Whatz new in desecration of statues by Muslims? He probably got inspired by the victory of Taliban in the neighborhood. They did to Bamiyan Budhha, he did his part in his capacity! He was seen reading a Kalma after this! If not extremist Jihad whatz this?
— Prasad (@prasadhendre) August 17, 2021
Previous incidents of vandalism
This is not the first time that Ranjit Singh’s statue has been vandalized in Pakistan. Last year, after the statue’s inauguration, two men struck it with wooden rods. The attack resulted in the breakage of one of its arms and damage to other parts.
The attackers chanted slogans against the former ruler of Punjab and protested against the revocation of the special status from Jammu and Kashmir.
Soon after the first attack, another young man was arrested for vandalizing the statue. He too broke an arm of the statue. The suspect, Zeeshan, told the police that Ranjit Singh’s statue should not have been built as he had committed atrocities against Muslims during his rule.
Read more: Religious extremism : Pakistan’s deadly disease?
Police arrests TLP worker
As per recent reports, Punjab Police arrested the man responsible for the recent attack on Ranjit Singh’s statue. The police revealed the news through their official Twitter account.
“The accused in the incident has been arrested and strict action is being taken against him,” Punjab Police wrote.
اس واقعہ کا ملزم گرفتار کر لیا گیا ہے جس کے خلاف سخت کارروائی عمل میں لائی جا رہی ہے pic.twitter.com/76RqkECzlp
— Punjab Police Official (@OfficialDPRPP) August 17, 2021