Local residents warn that the removal of Abdul Ali Mazari statue can trigger violence.
The Taliban have reportedly replaced the statue of a Hazara leader declared a national martyr by the former government with a replica of the holy Quran.
The original statue depicted Abdul Ali Mazari, a leader of the mostly Shia minority killed while he was a prisoner of the Taliban during their first stint in power.
"Yesterday, they completely removed the statue and replaced it with a replica of the Quran," AFP quoted a civil society activist in Bamiyan as saying on Thursday.
"They are trying to wipe out the history from Bamiyan, the people are going to react violently to this," Abdul Danishyar told AFP.
The square, named after Mazari, has been renamed "military street", Danishyar said.
This evening and in the second day of Taliban ruling in Afghanistan, the statue of Hazara leader, Abdul Ali Mazari was blown up in Bamiyan city. 20 years ago Taliban blown up Boda statue in this city. pic.twitter.com/AH6Dn68ztF— Tajuden Soroush (@TajudenSoroush) August 17, 2021
Fears of violence
The statue was decapitated by a rocket-propelled grenade soon after the Taliban returned to power in August, in an incident residents of the city in central Afghanistan blamed on the hardline Islamists.
Abdul Ali Shafaq, a Bamiyan provincial council member, told AFP he would talk to Taliban officials and urge them to reverse the move.
"This is a very sensitive issue, it might trigger reactions," he said.
"People in Bamiyan love Mazari, they were making a new statue to replace the partially destroyed one."
Mazari, a fiercely anti-Taliban militia leader, was killed in 1995 after being taken prisoner by the Taliban.
They said they shot him after he tried to seize the gun of one of his guards while being transferred aboard a helicopter.
He was officially named a "Martyr for National Unity of Afghanistan" by ousted president Ashraf Ghani in 2016.