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Wednesday December 08, 2021

Over 42 held for celebratory firing after cricket win

October 26, 2021

PESHAWAR: Police in the provincial capital arrested 42 people on Monday after thousands of rounds were fired in the air to celebrate the victory of the Pakistan cricket team against India on the World T-20 Cup. Shots were heard soon after Pakistan convincingly defeated the arch-rival India in the World Cup League match.

A number of cops had already been deployed on roads and streets as there was apprehension about celebratory firing in view of the importance of the cricket match.There were also several campaigns carried out in recent years and months to discourage the celebratory fire. Several people have lost lives while many others were paralysed for life after being hit by stray bullets in the last many years.

However, the practice was witnessed late Sunday night. Police started conducting raids after hearing the gunfire in various areas.Social media accounts were also monitored where several people posted their videos while firing shots in the air.

“We have lodged 35 cases and arrested 42 people during actions till Monday afternoon,” an official of the capital city police told The News. He added one AK-47, 38 pistols and thousands of rounds were also seized.

Many on social media criticised that only young men who have no connections and belonged to poor families were put behind bars over the aerial firing but none was arrested from influential families although their videos had gone viral.

One social media account posted a video of firing in a posh and sensitive area, with a message that no one can lay hands on those who have connections within the government. Many also tagged the senior police officers in the post. Neither any action was taken, nor did anyone comment on it till the filing of this report Monday evening.

Festive firing in many areas of the country is a common practice that happens at weddings and other festive occasions. Hundreds of people have been killed and several paralysed for the rest of their life after they were hit by stray bullets fired in their areas.

Many suggested the introduction of strictest laws by the government and due punishment by the courts in cases of festive firing to help stop the practice.A local parliamentarian Arbab Sher Ali said he would take up the issue of festive firing with the authorities concerned.

“We had a meeting with the chief minister KP on another issue in which I raised the aerial firing incidents last night. As per CCPO, action has been taken and is still being taken. It was stressed that action should be taken regardless of party affiliations,” said the MNA from Peshawar.