Pakistani TikTok Star Charged After Deliberately Setting Forest Fire to Shoot Video

A case has been lodged against a TikTok star after she deliberately set a strip of land in Islamabad's Margalla Hills on fire for one of her videos.

The social media celebrity, who goes by Dolly, sparked controversy when she posted a viral clip of herself walking playfully in front of a burning hillside along with the caption: "Fire erupts wherever I am." The video has since been taken down.

Dolly Charged with Damaging Environment

Dolly in a still from the video circulating on social media (left). Twitter

According to a first information report (FIR) filed at the Kohsar Police Station, an assistant director of the CDA, which oversees the maintenance of the city, reported Dolly after seeing the video on social media.

The case has been filed against the Tiktoker for defying the environmental protection laws under Environmental Protection Act 1997. "The area is part of Margalla Hills National Park which has reported multiple incidents of wildfires recently which damaged the ecosystem," it said.

Dolly has more than 11 million followers on TikTok. The clip has since been deleted but footage from the video is being circulated on social media. It shows Dolly, whose real name is Humaira Asghar, dressed in a long silver dress, walking through a part of Margalla Hills National Park in Islamabad with the orange glow of the burning landscape visible behind her.

Outrage on Social Media

The TikToker came under fire on social media for her "ignorant pursuit of fame" with people pointing out that the video had come at a time when the country was going through a heatwave.

Sharing the video on Twitter, Rina Satti, chair of Islamabad's Wildlife Management Board, said the video was part of a "disturbing and disastrous trend" on TikTok. "Young people desperate for followers are setting fire to our forests during this hot and dry season!" Satti added.

Satti said the fire was likely to cause harm to wildlife or damage their habitats. "It is breeding season for birds in Margalla's right now and their ground nests destroyed by fire, can't even escape!" she wrote in a tweet.

The incident comes just weeks after Pakistani media reported that a man had been arrested in Abbottabad, a city in the province of province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, for deliberately setting fire to a portion of a forest to make a TikTok video.