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Drone cameras have been temporarily, not completely, banned in Sindh

ARY News, Hum News, UrduPoint ran misleading headlines

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Claim: Drone cameras have been banned across the Sindh province in Pakistan.

Fact: Drone cameras have not been permanently banned; they have only been temporarily banned for four days — 8, 9, 10, and 12 Muharram 1445 — during which Ashura processions will take place in specific areas of Karachi. The Islamic dates correspond to 27, 28, 29, and 31 July 2023.

On 26 July 2023, ARY News published an article titled “Drone cameras banned across Sindh” (archive). The same report was also published on its Urdu website here (archive).

 

The Shiite community and other Muslims around the world, including in Pakistan, commemorate Ashura on 8, 9, 10, and 12 Muharram every year, a period of mourning in which processions take place to mark the death of Hussain, the grandson of the Islamic prophet Muhammad who died during the Battle of Karbala.

Fact or Fiction?

Soch Fact Check obtained a copy of the notification issued by the Sindh Home Department regarding the ban on drone cameras.

The notification states that the ban is only applicable to areas through which the following processions will pass:

  • The procession from Nishtar Park at M. A. Jinnah Road to the Hussainia Iranian Imambargah in Karachi’s Kharadar area on 27, 28, and 29 July 2023
  • The procession from Imambargah Sahib uz Zaman in the Gulshan-e-Iqbal neighborhood to Imambargah Imam Mehdi Aakhir-uz-Zaman in Gulistan-e-Johar on 31 July 2023
  • The procession from Imambargah Shah-e-Khurasan, also known as Mehfil-e-Shah-e-Khurasan, near Soldier Bazaar to Nishtar Park and back to the same place on 31 July 2023

The exact text of the notification has been reproduced as follows:

NO. SOJI/8-1(20)/2017 (Helicam/Muharrah): Whereas, the Inspector General of Police Sindh Karachi vide letter No.41034-38/AIGP/OPS/S&E/CPO/2023 dated 26.07.2023 has communicated the recommendation/request of Additional Inspector General of Police Karachi Range for imposing ban on using/flying of Helicam for video recording under Section 144 Cr.P.C on 08, 09th and 10th Muharrah-ul Harram, 1445 Hijri – 2023 for the processions from the Nishtar Park to Hussainian Iranian Imambargha, Karadar and on 12th Muharrah-ul Harram,1445 Hijri – 2023 for the procession from Imam Bargah Sahib-uz-Zaman, Guslshan-e-Iqbal to Imambargah Akhir-uz-Zaman, Gulistan-e-Johar and procession from Imambargah Shah Khuarasan and back to same place after taking around Nishtar Park to avoid any untoward incidents as well as best interest of safety and security of participants/mourners of the said processions;

AND WHEREAS, the Government of Sindh is satisfied that in view of the present law & order situation and security environment, it is necessary to make immediate measures and foolproof preventive security arrangements during the above said processions/religious gatherings and to obviate any chances of misuse by undesirable elements;

NOW THEREFORE, the Government of Sindh, in exercise of the powers conferred under Section 144 (6) Cr.PC, hereby imposes ban on use of Helicam for video recording during the above said processions to be taken out on 08th, 09th, 10th and 12th Muharrah-ul Harram,1445 Hijri – 2023 in the larger interest of safety and security of participants of processions.

In pursuance of Section 195 (i) (a) Cr.P.C, the S.H.Os of concerned Police Stations are hereby authorized to register the complaints under Section 188 PPC in writing for the violation of Section 144 Cr.P.C against the violators of this Notification.”

The Helicam mentioned in the notification is a mini remote-controlled helicopter-mounted camera or, simply, a drone camera.

The claim is, therefore, misleading.

Virality

Soch Fact Check found that along with ARY News, similar headlines were used by Hum News and UrduPoint here (archive) and here (archive).

The links to the reports by ARY News English and Urdu websites, Hum News, and UrduPoint gained 19 interactions, 390 interactions, 149 interactions, and 178 interactions on Facebook, respectively.

We found posts carrying the reports here, here, here, here, and here on Facebook.

The claim was also shared here, here, here, here, and here on the outlets’ respective Twitter accounts, as well as here, here, here, and here by other users.

Conclusion: Drone cameras have not been permanently banned; they have only been temporarily banned for four days — 8, 9, 10, and 12 Muharram 1445 — during which the Ashura processions will take place in specific areas of Karachi. The Islamic dates correspond to 27, 28, 29, and 31 July 2023.


Background image in cover photo: mohammad samir


To submit an appeal on our fact-check, please send an email to appeals@sochfactcheck.com

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