Lahore police arrested DJ Butt from his Model Town office on Wednesday on charges for violating COVID-19 standard operating procedures (SOPs). The DJ was scheduled to make sound arrangements at the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM)’s final showdown in Lahore on December 13.
A journalist shared footage on Twitter depicting several police officers attempting to take DJ Butt to the Model Town police station. In the video, he is seen demanding a valid justification for his arrest, and pleading the officers to “not do this to him.”
The professional DJ rose to national fame after providing sound arrangements at the Pakistan Tehreek e Insaf (PTI)’s rallies in 2014. The upbeat music arrangements at the large protest rallies headed by now-Prime Minister Imran Khan popularized the trend of hiring professional DJs to create an entertaining ambience at political demonstrations.
Since then, DJ Butt has provided his services to multiple political parties. His arrest comes after Prime Minister Imran Khan announced penalties for all logistical providers at the 11-member opposition’s upcoming protest rally.
Earlier this week, a First Information Report (FIR) was also launched against some local opposition party workers along with the chauffeur and company owner of major DJ system provider Malik Naeem.
DJ Butt’s arrest has been criticised by commentators and journalists on social media, with some citing the PTI government’s hypocrisy for ordering such arrests. PTI, as opposition, had strongly condemned the detainment of DJ Butt by the Pakistan Muslim League (PML) N government in 2014. Old tweets by Imran Khan registering this protest are now being shared to condemn the current government’s actions.
“Under what law is police arresting [our] workers who have been peaceful throughout?” Imran Khan had tweeted on September 13, 2014. “Arresting DJ Butt [because] he did [our] music/lights is [Nawaz]’s tyranny.”