Four men arrested for destroying Buddha statue in Takht Bhai

Four men arrested for destroying Buddha statue in Takht Bhai

MARDAN: Four men have been arrested in Mardan for destroying a 1,700-year-old Buddha statue while digging in Takht Bhai.
A video of the men, construction workers, destroying the statue with hammers went viral on social media, prompting the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa police to spring into action.
The men found the statue while digging in Takht Bhai. The contractor, Qamar Zaman, Amjad, Aleem and Suleman have been arrested and an FIR registered against them under the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Antiquities Act, 2016.
They have been booked under sections 18 (Prohibition of destruction, damage, etc to protected antiquity or important antiquity), 24 (Destruction, damage, etc), 44 (Destruction or damage and treatment or repair of registered antiquity), 57 (Report and instruction on excavation for construction works), 60 (Report, instruction and order on excavation for investigation) and 63 (Regulation and issuance of licences to foreign archaeological missions) of the Act.
Section 18 carries a maximum punishment of five years and a Rs2 million fine.
“We have taken the pieces of the destroyed Buddha into our custody to assess its archaeological value but apparently it was an ancient one. We lost it unfortunately,” Abdul Samad Khan, the head of KP’s archaeology department, said according to Arab News.
The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Archaeology department also tweeted about the incident. It retweeted a BBC Urdu story that estimates that the statue is at least 1,700 years old.
Takht Bhai was once part of the Budhist Gandhara kingdom that stretched across modern-day Pakistan and Afghanistan over 1,000 years ago.


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