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Use of drones, flying cameras banned in Punjab

Updated June 19, 2019

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Ban put in place for a period of two months. — AFP/File
Ban put in place for a period of two months. — AFP/File

RAWALPINDI: Operating a drone, remote controlled aircraft, flying cameras and balloons in any part of Punjab could lead to registration of a case which carries a maximum penalty of six months imprisonment.

The Punjab government imposed a ban on flying unmanned aerial drones and other flying machines which will remain in force across the province, including Rawalpindi, for a period of two months.

The home department in exercise of powers under Section 144(6) of the Code of Criminal Procedure 1898 prohibited the use of flying unmanned drones, remote controlled model aircraft, unmanned aircraft systems, flying cameras, quad copters, helicoms and balloons for all types of aerial media coverage and sports activities etc.

A legal expert from the police department said Section 144 empowers the district administration to issue orders in public interest that may place a ban on an activity for a specific period of time.

He said such a ban was enforced by the police who registered cases under Section 188 of Pakistan Penal Code against the violators.

Section 188 carries a maximum penalty of six months in prison or fine or both.

He said anyone failing to abide by the law or found violating the ban on flying drones, especially near aviation or defence-related activities or establishments, could face a police case and subsequently a six-month imprisonment.

All the divisional commissioners, divisional and district police chiefs, information department and director public relations have been intimated by the home department about the ban.

In another related move, the government imposed a ban on the use of Sheesha/Hookah in public places like hotels, restaurants, parks or clubs for two months.

The ban was imposed after intelligence reports stated that most of cafes were involved in providing the facilities of smoking Sheesha to teenagers which were a source of hazards erupting serious diseases particularly destroying the future of the young generation.

Due to use of Sheesha/Huka, tension/nuisance exits among the citizens, especially among parents of teenager students, both girls and boys. The menace of use of Sheesha may disturb public peace and tranquility; therefore, the provincial authorities have imposed a ban on it and directed the divisional police chiefs and administration to implement the ban and launch public awareness campaign highlighting the effects of Sheesha/Hookah.

An alternate form of tobacco, the use of Sheesha seems to be increasing among school and college students.

A university student told Dawn that there were 30 students in his class and only four of them did not use Sheesha vape, a new form of Hookah which could be carried easily for its small size.

“Using Sheesha vape has become a fashion among university students who bring it with them to their college or school bags,” he said.

Published in Dawn, June 19th, 2019