Blistering heat waves and scorching temperatures are forcibly creating awareness regarding civic sense and responsibility. Many people are beginning to understand the impact of their actions on the environment. However, some still can’t connect the dots, and it’s evident by the recent TikTok wildfire incident.
Famous Pakistani TikTok star Dolly set fire to an area that she claims was along the Hazara Motorway in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa instead of Islamabad’s Margalla Hills, to make a video for her profile that sent social media into a frenzy. Speaking about the legal repercussions of Dolly’s actions on Sidra Iqbal’s morning show ‘Aaj Pakistan,’ legal advisor to Islamabad Wildlife Management Board Daniyal Hassan said that an FIR under section 435 of the Pakistan Penal Code, has been registered against the TikTok user.
“According to section 435 of the Pakistan Penal Code, she can get two to seven years of imprisonment and face a heavy fine. Dolly is yet to be arrested but after that, she will be presented before the court, where her punishment will be decided and implemented,” he added.
In a video statement on Wednesday, the TikTok star claimed that the fire was already burning when she arrived at the location. Verifying her statement, a local man standing beside her in the video said that they start fires to kill snakes, which are a hazard to their children.
Environmental crimes are largely linked to institutions and companies but legal cases against individuals are also common.
According to Hassan, the illegal cutting of trees is one of the biggest environmental crimes for which people are arrested.
“A day before Eid, wildlife guards at Margalla Hills National Park caught two men red-handed with their guns. The men were trying to hunt deers. They were arrested by the police and FIRs were registered against them,” he said.
There are numerous precedents of strict punishments for environmental crimes. Perpetrators have been fined millions of rupees in these cases and imprisoned for two to seven years.