Digital entertainment channel SeePrime released an official statement on Tuesday after a mob attack on Nabeel Qureshi’s film cast and crew in Karachi’s PIB Colony. In it, it explained what happened during the incident, condemning the “brutal act of violence” and calling for justice for artists and media because “the pursuit of artistic expression should never come at the cost of human safety”.
The channel shared the statement on its social media accounts. “The SeePrime team is grieving the traumatic events borne by our cast and crew during the recent attack on our shoot in Karachi. We would like to clarify any misunderstandings and address the events that took place,” it wrote. “Our team received a noise complaint while filming with Nabeel Qureshi, Hira Mani, Mani, Gul e Rana, Salma Zafar and three child actors. Despite our efforts to resolve the issue, in which we moved our equipment to private quarters, over 100 attackers descended upon us in a chaotic frenzy, wreaking havoc, causing immense harm to both people and property, and looting those present on set.”
Describing the disturbing incident, SeePrime said that people broke down doors and brutally injured several crew members, who “heroically tried to protect each other”. It also said women on set were harassed, the children targeted and the seniors attacked. “Seven of our crew members were badly hurt and had to receive urgent medical attention as they put their lives on the line to protect their colleagues. It was a tragic and sobering reminder of the vulnerability of media freedom,” the channel added.
Condemning “this brutal act of violence”, SeePrime said it stands “united against such atrocities”. “The pursuit of artistic expression should never come at the cost of human safety. The fact that the media, the voice of the people, is so susceptible to brutality is a disgrace,” it wrote.
The channel thanked the Rangers and police who showed up for their “swift response in preventing further violence” and their “brave and resilient” cast and crew for being so courageous in such a difficult situation. “We also express our gratitude to the media and netizens who brought responsible attention to this matter overnight,” it wrote.
“At this moment, SeePrime stands in solidarity with the people and calls for justice for our artists/crew and media. We are your voice and we ask you to be ours. We remain steadfast in our commitment to growth and progress, and will not be deterred by this horrific attack,” it concluded.
Director Qureshi said that he and his crew were “attacked by [a] mo[b]” in Jamshed Quarters, Martin Road on Monday night. He tweeted that along with him, the cast and crew were robbed at their film set and mobile phones, wallets and filming gear was stolen.
SSP East Zubair Nazeer Sheikh told Images that six people have been arrested and a case has been registered. The FIR, a copy of which is available with Images, was filed by producer Ali Hussain at the PIB Colony police station. The complaint read that a group of 40 to 50 men broke the door down and entered the house. They began to shout and curse and beat up the house owner and the filming crew. Several pieces of equipment were stolen from the set — one 2k light, bulbs, C-stands, avenger stand,10kg jib weight, set pancake and cables as well as three mobile phones, two Vivo and one Sony Xperia.
A case has been registered under sections 147 (punishment for rioting), 148 (rioting, armed with deadly weapon), 382 (theft after preparation made for causing death, hurt or restraint in order to the committing of the theft), 337 (shajjah), 427 (mischief causing damage to the amount of Rs50) and 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace) of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC).