As 70 theaters are attacked and vandalized in Punjab, artists request PM Khan for help
''If the government fails to implement any measures and the situation remains the same, the theatre community would resort to country-wide protests''.
More than 70 movie theatres have been attacked and vandalized in Punjab recently, making artists fear for their safety. The Punjab Artists and Producers Association has protested against the lack of security measures and requested the federal and provincial authorities to intervene in an open letter to the Prime Minister Imran Khan.
The Chairman Punjab Artists and Producers Association, Qaiser Sana Ullah Khan, said the current situation needs an immediate response. Khan described the situation and requested for help in the letter to PM Khan.
“In my letter, I have briefed the PM about the difficult situation Punjab theatres have been facing off late. It has become very challenging for us to resume theatre activities under such an environment. It is a tragedy that the local police are not taking any action, and our performers are just like sitting ducks for these armed criminals,” Qaiser said while talking to a local media outlet.
Furthermore, Khan said that if the government fails to implement any measures and the situation remains the same, the theatre community would resort to country-wide protests.
“We are taxpayers, and the industry generates a lot of revenue annually for the entire country. It is the duty of the state to provide us security. We artists are ready to block roads and demand security if necessary action is not taken,” Khan stated.
The Sahiwal incident
Khan’s letter also narrated the terrible incident that occurred last week, where the popular theatre actress Hira Noor was allegedly raped and tortured in Sahiwal. It also brings the two firing incidents at theatres in Multan and Faisalabad to the PM’s notice.
“These poor girls have nowhere else to earn a living other than the theatre. The situation is beyond tragic,” Khan mentioned.
Members of political parties included?
Renowned theatre artist Qaiser Javed said that these attackers include members of mainstream political parties as well. He requested the government to start a crackdown against this ‘group of crooks’.
Another female theatre dancer, on request of anonymity, also spoke to the said media source about her concerns. She said that after the hardships they faced during the COVID-19 lockdown, these attacks are making the situation worse.
“We already suffered during the pandemic as theatres were shut down for an indefinite period. Now that they are finally reopening, we face a bigger threat than the virus in the form of these criminals. Anyone can rape us at any time. It is a serious matter which the PM and Chief Minister should look into,” she said.
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