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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)
An Indian restaurant has been vandalised with racist graffiti written amid the devastation left by the attack in New Mexico state, according to media reports.
Local leaders and the community are rallying behind the Sikh-owned restaurant, India Palace, in Santa Fe, which suffered $100,000 in damages during the attack discovered on Monday, the Santa Fe New Mexican newspaper reported.
An Indian restaurant vandalised in US
Besides causing extensive damage to the restaurant, the vandals had written slogans in support of President Donald Trump and “White Power”, and racist remarks like “Go Home,” according to the Santa Fe Reporter.
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It said that the kitchen was completely made unusable, tables were overturned, glassware was smashed, wine racks were emptied, the statue of a “goddess” was beheaded and computers were stolen.
The restaurant had reopened only recently after being closed due to the COVID-19 restrictions.
Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham tweeted on Tuesday, “We will not stand for such hatred in New Mexico.” She added that she had spoken to restaurant-owner Bajit Singh to “let him know that our community is with him.”
Mayor Alan Webber described the vandalism a “sickening and appalling” hate crime and vowed, “We will find whoever did it and punish them to the full extent of the law.”
He said, “The Singhs are a long-standing Sikh family that has used its own resources to feed homeless Santa Feans through the goodness of their hearts. For them to be attacked this way breaks our hearts.”
The Singh family distributes free packages of food and sanitary products for homeless people in the area and these items were stolen during the attack, according to the Reporter.
The Reporter said that five fundraising campaigns have been launched to help the restaurant.
A ‘GoFundMe’ campaign by another restaurant Paper Dosa had raised more than $35,000, the New Mexican said.
One of the pictures of the graffiti posted on the Reporter’s website was against the terrorist organisation Islamic State.
Because of their turbans, Sikhs are sometimes mistaken for Islamists or Iranian clergy who are represented in the media with turbans and are attacked.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper said in a statement, “This disturbing hate attack once again demonstrates that growing white supremacy, xenophobia, Islamophobia, and racism target every minority community and must be challenged by people of all races, faiths and backgrounds.” (IANS)