KARACHI – Anti-terrorism court is likely to announce its verdict today in the high-profile Baldia factory fire case, over eight years after the terrifying industrial blaze.
Over 250 workers were burnt alive when the multi-storey garment factory was set on fire in Baldia Town on September 11, 2012.
Initially, factory owner Abdul Aziz Bhaila, his two sons Arshad Bhaila and Shahid Bhaila, a general manager and four gatekeepers were charge-sheeted for their alleged negligence.
Baldia factory fire was an act of terrorism: JIT report
However, according to the JIT report, the factory fire was not an accident, it was an act of terrorism. The fire was started in the factory for non-payment of Rs200 million as extortion money, it stated.
According to report, MQM’s Hamad Siddiqui and Rehman Bhola demanded extortion money from the factory owner but the initial investigation had not mentioned about the extortion money anywhere in the FIR or in the investigation.
JIT recommended withdrawing the previous FIRs and filing of new FIRs under terrorism provisions in its report and recommended including the names of Rehman Bhola, Hamad Siddiqui, Zubair Charia in the new FIR.
JIT also recommended including the names of Umar Hassan Qadari, Dr. Abdul Sattar, Ali Hassan Qadri, Iqbal Adib Khanum and four unknown persons in the FIR.
Police role has also been criticized in the JIT report as police had failed to investigate the case in the right direction.