Out­rage in UK af­ter Sikh sol­dier’s statue is van­dalised

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - - MYINDIAMYVOTE - HT Cor­re­spon­dent

CRE­ATED BY SCULPTOR LUKE PERRY, THE STATUE WAS IN­STALLED IN WEST MIDLANDS AS A TRIBUTE TO SIKH SOL­DIERS WHO FOUGHT IN THE TWO WORLD WARS

LON­DON: Sikh cam­paign groups and oth­ers re­acted with out­rage on Satur­day af­ter it was dis­cov­ered that the Lions of the Great War statue, de­pict­ing a Sikh sol­dier and un­veiled in the West Midlands on November 4, was van­dalised with the words “Se­poys no more”.

The bronze 10-foot statue, in­stalled to hon­our Sikh sol­diers who fought in World War I, was in­au­gu­rated with much fan­fare at Guru Nanak Gur­d­wara in Smeth­wick, near Birm­ing­ham. A thick line was also drawn through the words “Great War”.

Jatin­der Singh, pres­i­dent of the gur­d­wara, said he was extremely dis­ap­pointed, “There was some van­dal­ism to the back wall overnight which is very dis­ap­point­ing. The graf­fiti was cleaned off and the mat­ter was re­ported to the po­lice.

“What makes this in­ci­dent par­tic­u­larly dis­tress­ing is the com­plete dis­re­gard and lack of re­spect for the sig­nif­i­cance of the statue and in­scrip­tions, in­stalled re­cently to com­mem­o­rate the losses felt by many South Asian fam­i­lies who lost their dear ones dur­ing the First World War and mark 100 years since the end of the Great War.”

Sev­eral peo­ple con­demned the van­dal­ism on so­cial me­dia.

Bill Gill of the West Midlands po­lice said, “We un­der­stand that this at­tack has caused a lot of con­cern in the com­mu­nity, and we are work­ing to un­der­stand the rea­sons be­hind it and iden­tify who­ever is re­spon­si­ble.”

He added, “Of­fi­cers had al­ready planned to be at the re­mem­brance event, which is hap­pen­ing to­mor­row at the site of the statue.”

Cre­ated by sculptor Luke Perry, the sol­dier’s statue was in­stalled as Bri­tain and other coun­tries mark 100 years of World War 1. The con­tri­bu­tion of thou­sands of Sikh and In­di­ans sol­diers in the two World Wars was re­called.

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