Mobs set fire to network cables as operators demand action
PESHAWAR: Cable network operators have protested against the tearing down and the burning of two network cables on Friday by mobs accusing operators of releasing obscene movies.
People in Peeri Bagh and Mehbooba Dheri gathered after the Friday prayers, tore up cables of the OK Cables and Geo Cables networks and then set them on fire.
The people accused the two networks of releasing obscene movies being banned by the Pakistan Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA). However, network owners denied the allegation. Cable Operators Association President Mujahid Salim told Daily Times that this was a third attempt by the local groups against the cable networks in the city, but the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) government and PEMRA had failed to provide them protection.
“The allegation is unfounded and baseless and if some people have watched the banned channels they should file complaints with PEMRA instead of attacking the networks. Everyone has his own definition of obscenity and vulgarity, but PEMRA is the body that can declare the channels prohibited or otherwise,” Mr Salim said.
He said that despite their repeated complaints, neither the government nor PEMRA had taken any steps for their security. “If the government cannot provide us security they should ask us to close down our businesses, and we will do it,” he warned.
He said last time cable networks in the city were attacked, PEMRA had assured the operators of protection and action against the attackers, but nothing had been done. “We have asked the administration for security and protection and action against the attackers, but we are sure they will not investigate into the case as before,” he complained.
He said his association would fully support the government in implementing the PEMRA rules and regulations and would not support those airing banned and obscene channels.
He said his association had filed complaints with the federal and provincial governments and PEMRA, warning that if no action is taken against the attackers his association would stage a protest.