Pakistan makes arrests over destruction of 1700-year-old Buddha statue

10:44 PM | 19 Jul, 2020
Pakistan makes arrests over destruction of 1700-year-old Buddha statue
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PESHAWAR – Police in northwestern Pakistan have arrested four people in connection with the destruction of a third-century life-sized Buddha statue recently discovered in Mardan.

A video of the act, which has since gone viral on social media, showed the construction workers, along with a local religious leader, smashing the Buddha statue using a sledgehammer.

The arrests were made on Saturday under antiquities law for allegedly destroying the centuries-old statue, according to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa police.

“All offenders who were seen smashing an antique Gandharan Buddhist statue in Mardan have been arrested by KP Police,” Special Assistant to the Chief Minister for Information Kamran Bangash said in a tweet.

The rare statue was discovered during construction work in a village near Takht-i-Bahi, a part of the Gandhara civilisation, where Buddhism thrived until the 8th or 9th centuries when Islam first began to gain sway in the region.