Court grants bail to accused in Ranjit Singh statue vandalisation case

Accused is an activist of the banned Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan


Rana Yasif August 20, 2021
PHOTO: EXPRESS

LAHORE:

A magisterial court on Friday granted post-arrest bail to the individual who allegedly vandalised the statue of Sikh ruler Maharaja Ranjit Singh at the Lahore Fort.

The accused, Rizwan, was presented before the court today. During the proceedings, the investigation officer of the case asked the court if it had no objection against him being sent on judicial remand.

Meanwhile, the accused’s counsel informed the court that the police have completed their investigation and have recovered a hammer from the possession of the accused.

He further implored the court that the sections under which the FIR was registered are bailable and requested the court to grant bail to the accused.

The judge of the magisterial court then granted bail to the accused.

The accused was arrested on Tuesday and is an activist of the banned Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan.

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In a video, the vandal can be seen chanting slogans and breaking the arm of the statute and then dismantling Singh’s bust from the horse altogether.

This is the third time the statue of Maharaja Ranjit Singh has been vandalised since its unveiling in 2019 to commemorate the ruler’s 180th death anniversary.

The first act of vandalism took place when two men struck it with wooden rods, due to which one of the statue’s arms broke and other parts were damaged. The vandals were protesting the revocation of Jammu and Kashmir's special status by India.

The second occurrence was reported in December 2020, when a man broke off one arm of the statue. The accused, reportedly an active member of a religious party, later confessed to his crime.

The Walled City of Lahore Authority claims to have deployed dozens of guards at the fort. The police were also investigating a religious billboard brought near the historic site.

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