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Rizwan, vandalised Maharaja Ranjit Singh's statue In Lahore

A magisterial court here on Friday granted post-arrest bail to the individual who reportedly vandalised a statue of Sikh ruler Maharaja Ranjit Singh at the Lahore Fort earlier this week, Express Tribune reported.

The accused, Rizwan, was presented before the court on Friday. During the proceedings, the investigating officer asked the court if it had no objection against him being sent to 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 were 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, an activist of the banned outfit Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan, was arrested on Tuesday.

In a video that had gone viral, Rizwan can be seen chanting slogans and breaking the arm of the statue and then dismantling Singh's bust from the horse altogether. This is the third time that 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 arm of the statue broke while other parts were damaged. The vandals were protesting the revocation of Article 370 of the Indian Consitution that granted special status to the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir. The second incident was reported in December 2020, when a man broke one arm of the statue. The accused, reportedly an active member of a religious group, had later confessed to his crime.

The authorities in Lahore claim to have deployed dozens of guards at the fort.(IANS/HP)

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