Claim: TikToker Dolly set the Margalla Hills on fire leading to a forest fire lasting several days
Fact: TikToker Dolly on her way back from Haripur came across an already lit fire and shot her TikTok
On May 15th 2022, TikToker Dolly uploaded an 11 second video of her performing to a song with a forest fire in the background. On May 17th 2022, this video was viral on Twitter, being shared and condemned by Twitter users with hundreds of thousands of followers. It was widely believed that she lit the fire in order to shoot her video.
Surfing through Dolly’s TikTok account @dollyofficiall, it became clear that 6 days ago, on Thursday, May 12th, 2022 Dolly was attending an event in Haripur where she was specially invited as a TikTok star and influencer. It is the same outfit in which she shot her video with the forest fire in the background. Team Current reached Dolly’s Signature Salon in Gulberg on May 17th, where although we were unable to meet the celebrity herself, we met Usman who is her personal assistant and often appears in her TikToks as well. Usman informed us that the viral 11 second TikTok was shot as an afterthought. Usman later also shared a video with us, embedded below, which was shot when Dolly and Usman found the fire while on the motorway back from Haripur and made a video with a local who claimed to have set the fire himself to protect his children from snakes.
This video conclusively proves that the fire was set before Dolly reached the location. Mainstream news channels such as ARY, GEO, Bol have all covered this event quoting an FIR that was lodged against her and teammates in Kohsar Police Station. Social media users as well as TV channels are connecting this instance of forest fire with another video in which two men are seen setting fire in Margalla Hills. This video was recorded two days after Dolly recorded her own TikTok on May 15th.
Several Twitter users openly condemned Dolly, called for her arrest and shamed her. Eventually the collective internet action led to the registration of an FIR against her at the Kohsar Police, Islamabad. However, it is clear that even though Dolly made a TikTok with a forest fire that has ranged over an expansive region by this point, she did not cause it. Dawn reports that the fire started out in the Chinari area of the Margalla Hills, another fire was also reported in forest 16 of the Saidpur Range earlier on Sunday.
These yearly occurring forest fires are continuously increasing and the blame for these is often misdirected while local authorities such as Capital Development Authority (CDA) and Islamabad Wildlife Management Board (IWMB) display negligence and disregard towards establishing a system of pre-emptive mechanisms to deal with this consequence of climate change