Red Fort saw 'irreplaceable' damage, historic brass urns missing: Minister

Updated on Jan 28, 2021 10:13 PM IST

Speaking to reporters, the minister said that two historic brass urns installed near the place where Tricolour is hoisted have gone missing. The main gate of the fort has also been damaged, he said.

A man hangs on to pole holding a Sikh religious flag along with a farm union flag at the historic Red Fort monument during a farmers protest against new farm laws in New Delhi, India. A sea of tens of thousands of farmers riding tractors and horses stormed India’s historic Red Fort this week — a dramatic escalation of their protests. (AP)
A man hangs on to pole holding a Sikh religious flag along with a farm union flag at the historic Red Fort monument during a farmers protest against new farm laws in New Delhi, India. A sea of tens of thousands of farmers riding tractors and horses stormed India’s historic Red Fort this week — a dramatic escalation of their protests. (AP)
Byhindustantimes.com | Edited by Arpan Rai

Falling prey to violent clashes on the Republic Day, after hundreds stormed the Red Fort during tractor rally violence, the historical monument has seen significant irreplaceable damages, culture minister Prahlad Singh Patel said on Thursday.

Speaking to reporters, the minister said that two historic brass urns installed near the place where Tricolour is hoisted have gone missing. The main gate of the fort has also been damaged, he said.

Patel said these artefacts were priceless and can’t be replaced. He, however, said that the government is determining the financial loss caused to the 17th century monument due to clashes.

Also read: A wall of security around Red Fort as dust of violence settles

Officials said the protesters inflicted extensive damage at the monument - at least three finials placed atop the rampart domes went missing, the ticket counter was vandalised and window panes were shattered, toilets were broken, air conditioners were damaged, the stone boards were uprooted, staff rooms were vandalised, railings and stairs were defaced, a police van was smashed and toppled and CCTV cameras installed within the fort were crushed.

Among the damages which will take months to get restored include lighting instruments outside the fort, the main gate of the fort and six to seven blocks of an interpretation centre on the first floor which was under construction.

The violence by protesters also caused damage to India's 72nd Republic Day parade exhibits which Patel said were kept there. These exhibits are kept at the Red Fort for those people who can’t see them during the R-Day parade.

A report has been submitted to the police which is expected to take stern action, the union minister for culture and tourism said.

Also read | Red Fort breach: Fresh video show hundreds inside, tractors running amok

The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has approached the police and asked them to act under AMASR Act Sector 30 part 1 and 3, Patel said.

The unfolding of violent clashes in the Mughal-era fort forced authorities to shut down the monument till January 31 to take stock of the damages.

Several visuals after the Republic Day have shown thousands of protesters clashing with police in central Delhi before reaching the iconic Red Fort, even as the farmer leaders had called on protesters to stay peaceful, warning that any violence could hurt their cause.

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