If you enjoy joking around and pulling pranks on people, you might land yourself in trouble.
“If you are caught doing pranks, you can be arrested,” Lahore Operations SSP Ismail Khaarak said on SAMAA TV’s morning show Naya Din on Thursday.
The police can arrest you under Section 506 (punishment for criminal intimidation) of the Pakistan Penal Code or Section 25D (penalty for causing annoyance) of the Telegraph Act, 1885.
Section 506 of the PPC is punishable with an imprisonment of up to two years in jail or a fine, whereas Section 25D of the Telegraph Act is punishable by a jail term of up to three years or a fine.
The Lahore police are investigating 77 pranksters after they received complaints. Eleven cases have been registered against prank callers and pranksters asking ‘inappropriate’ questions.
Prank culture has become common among young people, especially YouTubers who are looking for content ideas to increase views on videos and subscribers on their channel. They go to public places to pull pranks and record reactions of people.
“Creating content is difficult,” admitted Shahmeer Abbas, a YouTuber. He suggested that content creators should properly plan their pranks before executing it.
“If someone feels threatened and scared through your prank, reconsider it,” he advised.
Abbas suggested taking written permission from the place you are going to execute your prank at beforehand. He said one should never pull a prank on couples or the elderly and should arrange security in case things go bad.
Sometimes, the pranks go too far and pranksters end up paying the price. On December 26, 2018 a young man was shot dead in Lahore after a fight erupted following a prank. The deceased, Rana Zuhair, was scaring people in a park near Lytton Road. The prank didn’t go as planned and he got into a fight with a family following which unidentified men opened fire at him.
On the other hand, the emerging popularity of prank videos sometimes gives ground for pranksters to walk away scot-free. But pranks should not give people licenses to harass or bully anyone.