Thugs vandalise war memorial of Sikh soldier to honour thousands of Indians who fought and died

0
23


Lions of the Great War in Smethwick, Birmingham was commissioned to honour the soldiers of the Indian subcontinent who fought in the world wars

Lions of the Great War in Smethwick, Birmingham was commissioned to honour the soldiers of the Indian subcontinent who fought in the world wars

A war memorial featuring a statue of a Sikh soldier was vandalised less than a week after it was unveiled in an incident which police are treating as racially aggravated.

Lions of the Great War in Smethwick, Birmingham, was commissioned to honour the many from the Indian subcontinent who fought in both the First and Second World Wars.

The 10ft-high bronze statue was unveiled on November 4 – a week before the centenary of the Armistice – but by Friday night had been sprayed with the words ‘Sepoys no more’.  

‘Sepoy’ refers to Indian soldiers serving in the British or other European armies. 

The motive of the vandalism is still unknown as officers investigate whether it was a racist attack or from Asians objecting to the deaths of Indian soldiers fighting for the British Empire.

The memorial was commissioned by Sikh temple Guru Nanak Gurdwara Smethwick to mark the sacrifices made by South Asian servicemen of all faiths.

It is the first full statue of a South Asian First World War soldier in the UK.

At the unveiling last Sunday Jatinder Singh, president of the temple, said: ‘I’m absolutely so proud.

‘The contribution of Sikhs and of all other faiths that came over from South Asia is immeasurable’.

The monument was designed by Black Country sculpture Luke Perry. 

The memorial was commissioned by Sikh temple Guru Nanak Gurdwara Smethwick to mark the sacrifices made by South Asian servicemen of all faiths

The memorial was commissioned by Sikh temple Guru Nanak Gurdwara Smethwick to mark the sacrifices made by South Asian servicemen of all faiths

It is the first full statue of a South Asian First World War soldier in the UK

It is the first full statue of a South Asian First World War soldier in the UK

The memorial was commissioned by Sikh temple Guru Nanak Gurdwara Smethwick to mark the sacrifices made by South Asian servicemen of all faiths

The term 'sepoy' refers to Indian soldiers serving in the British or other European armies

The term 'sepoy' refers to Indian soldiers serving in the British or other European armies

The term ‘sepoy’ refers to Indian soldiers serving in the British or other European armies

The words ‘of the Great War’ from the statue’s title had been sprayed with a black line, while the words ‘1 jarnoil’ had been emblazoned on to the memorial.

There was speculation on social media that the phrase could refer to Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale – a controversial figure in Indian history considered by some to be a terrorist who wanted to create a Sikh state.

He was killed in 1984 in a gun battle with the Indian army after his organisation occupied the famous Golden Temple complex in the city of Amritsar. 

West Midlands Police said they are treating the incident as racially aggravated criminal damage.

The force said CCTV is being recovered and officers are working with worshippers and management at the temple.

The 10ft-high bronze statue was unveiled on November 4 - a week before the centenary of the Armistice - but by Friday night had been sprayed with the words 'Sepoys no more'

The 10ft-high bronze statue was unveiled on November 4 - a week before the centenary of the Armistice - but by Friday night had been sprayed with the words 'Sepoys no more'

The 10ft-high bronze statue was unveiled on November 4 – a week before the centenary of the Armistice – but by Friday night had been sprayed with the words ‘Sepoys no more’

The term 'sepoy' refers to Indian soldiers serving in the British or other European armies

The term 'sepoy' refers to Indian soldiers serving in the British or other European armies

The term ‘sepoy’ refers to Indian soldiers serving in the British or other European armies

Sergeant Bill Gill, from the Smethwick Neighbourhood Team, 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.

‘Officers had already planned to be at the remembrance event which is happening tomorrow at the statue.

‘I’d urge anyone with concerns to speak to the officers attending the event.’

Anyone with any information is urged to contact West Midlands Police or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.



Source link

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here