When a drone hit the train window

November 27, 2022

A follow-up to the incident that alerted the local police and law-enforcement agencies (LEAs)

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The train was stationed at the Thokar Niaz Beg terminal. — Photo by Rahat Dar


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n November 16, a handmade model aircraft, initially believed to be a remote-controlled drone, hit the windowpane of the Orange Line Metro Train, which was stationed at the Thokar Niaz Beg terminal, and damaged it. The incident alerted the local police and law-enforcement agencies (LEAs) who rushed to the spot along with the bomb disposal squad.

The drone was reported to have damaged the train’s window.

The incident happened in the wee hours. The guards employed at the Punjab Mass Transit Authority reported it to the LEAs. The police picked up one suspect, identified as Hamid, a shopkeeper on Hall Road, who was said to be the owner of the plane. An FIR was lodged by the Chuhng police under Section 440, on the complaint of Paul Nazir, a security officer in charge of the OLMT Project.

As per the initial report prepared by the bomb squad as well as the CTD, the model plane neither carried explosives nor any device for surveillance. The SP of Lahore Securiy, Saeed Aziz, who was also overseeing the Chinese security, said that there was no suggestion of the incident being linked to a terrorist activity.

Talking to TNS, Hamid said he belonged to a middle-class family. He said that he had always wanted to make an airplane. After gaining basic knowhow on the subject, he had embarked on the journey to realise his dream. “It was a gigantic task,” he said, “especially because I was short of funds, which halted the progress.”

Yet, he didn’t lose faith, and stayed firm. At last, he was successful in making the aircraft. But when he was giving it a test run, it got out of control due to some technical fault, and crashed.

“My plan was to take this further and develop a proper aircraft in the next phase. But things went awry, and I landed this mess. I repent the day I flew this gadget.”

As per the initial report prepared by the bomb squad as well as the CTD, the model plane neither carried explosives nor any device for surveillance. SP Saeed Aziz said that there was no suggestion of the incident being linked to a terrorist activity.

Visibly hurt and humiliated, Hamid said that the environment in our country is not conducive to the creative spirit, “If the Wright Brothers were born in Pakistan, I’m sure they’d not be successful in their ventures, because they would have been so discouraged.”

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SP Investigations, Iqbal Town, Aftab Phularwan said, “As far as my knowledge goes, there are no laws in Pakistan to regulate the development/ production and commercial use of drones. Hence, in the absence of specific laws, the police had to register the case under Section 440 PPC which generally deals with mischief.

“There is no doubt that scientists, engineers and inventors should be encouraged in their efforts,” he added. “But this should not be done at the cost of public safety.”

He said there was a dire need for comprehensive legislation in this regard. He was of the view that developing and flying small planes or drones was not objectionable, but no experimentation should be carried out in public places, as this can cause harm to the life and property of the general public. “The people should be properly informed prior to test runs.”

This isn’t the first time that the police have had to deal with inventors and innovators. Early this year, the Punjab Police had put a young man, named Muhammad Fayyaz, behind bars for making a small aircraft. He was accused of making the aircraft without permission.

Later, Fayyaz told the media that an international TV show had helped him develop a small aircraft. In the beginning, his family and friends had made fun of him but he had continued the work.


The writer is a senior journalist. He can be reached at ahsanzia155gmail.com



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