Indian-origin man held for vandalising Stonehenge in UK – Times of India

Indian-origin man held for vandalising Stonehenge in UK – Times of India

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NEW DELHI: Stonehenge, a prehistoric megalithic structure located on Salisbury Plain in Wiltshire, was covered in orange powder paint in an act of vandalism by two Just Stop Oil campaigners on Wednesday. The protesters included Indian origin Rajan Naidu, a 73-year-old from Birmingham, and Niamh Lynch, a 21-year-old student from Oxford. The incident took place around 12:00 BST, just one day before the Summer Solstice celebrations at the 5,000-year-old site.
Wiltshire Police have confirmed the arrest of the two individuals on suspicion of damaging the ancient monument.Just Stop Oil, the environmental group behind the protest, stated that the paint was made from cornflour and would wash away with rain. They highlighted the urgency of ending the extraction and burning of fossil fuels by 2030, citing the potential catastrophic impacts on humanity.
“Our inquiries are ongoing and we are working closely with English Heritage,” the police added, referring to the public body that cares for hundreds of the country’s historic places, including Stonehenge.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak condemned the act as “disgraceful vandalism,” while Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer described it as “outrageous” and criticized Just Stop Oil as “pathetic.”

English Heritage, the organization managing Stonehenge, expressed concern over the incident. A spokesperson described the damage as “extremely upsetting” and indicated that experts are assessing the extent of the damage. Despite the vandalism, the site remains open to visitors, though some stones closest to the public path were noticeably splattered with the powder.
BBC correspondent Paul Clifton, who arrived shortly after the incident, reported that while the stones appeared to be superficially affected, the need for expert evaluation was crucial to determine any lasting impact. He said that many tourists were confused by the situation, and site managers and security were monitoring the area closely.
Just Stop Oil said it had chosen to stage the action on the day before the Summer Solstice festival, when crowds gather at the site to celebrate the northern hemisphere’s summer solstice.
A spokesperson for the group said that although the Labour party, which is widely expected to win next month’s election, has vowed not to issue any new oil and gas drilling licences, “we all know this is not enough”.
“We have to come together to defend humanity or we risk everything. That’s why Just Stop Oil is demanding that our next government sign up to a legally binding treaty to phase out fossil fuels by 2030,” the spokesperson added.





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