A total of four people have been arrested by the Pakistan police of the northwest Kuber-Pakhtunkhwa region for vandalizing a rare Gautam Buddha statue.
The vandalization took place during the process of excavation in an agriculture farm, as per the police. The statue was found in the tehsil Takhtbai of Mardan district. Apparently, the statue was destroyed as per the orders of the local Maulvi. Four people have been arrested in the case and an FIR has been filed under the antiquity act.
According to the district police officer Zahidullah, the incident occurred when a water line was dug up and that’s when the construction workers found the statue. He said,
“We have arrested contractor Qamar Zaman and his workers, Amjad, Aleem, and Saleem for smashing the Buddha statue and have also recovered some of its pieces from them.”
The arrests were made after a video went viral which showed the people damaging the statue. As per the senior officer of the Tourism Department, after the video surfaced, the authorities reported the matter to the police who took further action.
Holy Region For Buddhists
Takhtbai area, where the statue was found, is a tourist destination for people from the countries of Sri Lanka, Korea, and Japan as it was a part of Gandhara Civilisation. The Gandhara Civilisation is regarded as one of the earliest urban settlements documented in the subcontinent history. Abdul Samad Khan, the director of Archaeology Department Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, expressed his grief and anguish over the incident and has assured that proper action will be taken against the culprits.
The old name of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa was Gandhara and a region is a holy place for the followers of Buddhism. Three years back, in 2017, two rare and ancient Buddha statues were unearthed at an archaeological site in Bhamala of Haripur district. The largest ever statue found at the site depicts the death of Buddha and the second statue was a Buddha with a double halo.
Source: India Times