Friday August 19, 2022

Protest over ‘blasphemous Wi-Fi name’ keeps Saddar tense for hours

A Wi-Fi device router that was installed at the mall had been used for an insult of sectarian nature

By Our Correspondent
July 02, 2022
Protesters erupt in Saddar on Friday. -Picture Rana Javaid
Protesters erupt in Saddar on Friday. -Picture Rana Javaid

A violent protest erupted in a market of mobile phones in Saddar’s Preedy area on Friday apparently after “a blasphemous text” appeared in cell phones due to a Wi-Fi device installed at the market.

Police said some miscreants had mischievously chosen the blasphemous text as the name of the Wi-Fi router. A five-hour protest and violence began on Friday afternoon when hateful religious material was screened on a Wi-Fi device of a private company. Miscreants torched and damaged stalls and banners of the company.

Muhammad Safdar, sub divisional police officer (SDPO) of the area, said that after Preedy police received information that a disturbance had occurred at the Star City Mall, police mobiles rushed to the spot where they witnessed that a law and order situation had been created by people.

He said he called in an additional force from the division and headquarters to protect the life and property of people. The police then cordoned off the scene and started tackling the situation. The initial investigation showed that at about 11am, a Wi-Fi device router that was installed at the mall had been used for an insult of sectarian nature.

Aware of the sensitivity of the situation, the Preedy SHO rushed to the scene, switched off all Wi-Fi devices and detained 22 people, including the office staff of a private company, on suspicion.

Police said a team, headed by police and members of the market, had been formed to inquire into the matter, and strict legal action would be taken against those involved. Officials said the hours’ long demonstration on MA Jinnah Road ended when the protesters dispersed in the evening and traffic was restored. However, the police personnel remained deployed, restoring traffic on the roads to and from Garden.

The officials said the police had detained 22 people and seized three routers of the company whose Wi-Fi device caused the problem. Moreover, all three routers had been referred to the FIA Cyber Crime Circle.

Officials said a joint team of police and the Federal Investigation Agency, consisting of the SSP South, the SP Investigation and the FIA additional director, were investigating the incident under cyber crime laws.