Pakistan issues visas to 463 Indian Sikh Pilgrims to observe death anniversary of Maharaja Ranjit Singh
A statue of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, who ruled the northwest Indian subcontinent in the early half of the 19th century, was vandalised by two men in this Pakistani city on Saturday.
The nine-feet statue of the Maharaja was unveiled at the Lahore Fort in June on his 180th death anniversary. Singh, the first Maharaja of the Sikh Empire, died in 1839.
The statue, made of cold bronze, shows the regal Sikh emperor sitting on a horse, sword in hand, complete in Sikh attire.
Police have arrested two men and registered a case against them under the country's blasphemy laws.
The two men were angry after India revoked the special status to Jammu and Kashmir last week. The suspects belonged to Tehreek-Labbaik Pakistan of radical cleric Maulana Khadim Rizvi.
The Walled City of Lahore Authority that is responsible for the matters of the Lahore Fort has expressed shock and vowed to repair the statue soon after Eid.
"This is quite unfortunate incident. We will enhance security at the Lahore Fort so that no such incident should take place in the future, Walled City of Lahore Authority spokesperson Tania Qureshi told PTI.
"The statue's restoration will be carried out from next week. Once it is repaired it will be opened for the public again.
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