Baldia factory fire was planned by extortionists, says JIT report

Published: February 23, 2016
SHARES
Email
PHOTO: AFP

PHOTO: AFP

KARACHI: 

The Joint Investigation Team (JIT) is seeking a go-ahead to arrest at least nine key suspects belonging to a political party for their alleged involvement in the Baldia Town factory fire case.

Muttahida Qaumi Movement’s (MQM) former Karachi Tanzeemi Committee in-charge Hammad Siddiqui is the prime suspect behind the country’s deadliest fire.

On 11 September 2012, Ali Enterprises caught fire which claimed the lives of 259 workers. The investigators had to rely on the owners’ claims to establish the cause of the fire though they now claim to possess scientific evidences as well.

Baldia factory fire suspects should be hanged publicly: Altaf Hussain

“The case has become strong as besides the owners’ statements, we now also have scientific evidences,” said a JIT member while talking to The Express Tribune.

A four-member team of forensic experts had arrived in Karachi from Punjab in October 2015, to help officials ascertain the cause of the fire. The investigation team headed by Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Sultan Khawaja and DIG Munir Shaikh have also recorded the statements of the garment factory owners – the Bhaila brothers Arshad and Shahid in Dubai, who have refused to return to Pakistan.

Their statements were recorded both on paper and in front of a camera at the Pakistan consulate. They had claimed that the fire was not accidental and an extortionist group was behind the incident.

“The Bhaila brothers’ statements and Punjab forensic experts’ reports have confirmed that it was not an act of God but rather an act of man,” explained a member of the JIT who did not wish to be named. “The forensic report also confirms that some chemicals were used to set the factory on fire.”

The JIT team has submitted its final report to the Sindh Home Department. “So far we have found a gang of nine members belonging to a political party including a former in-charge of MQM’s Karachi Tanzeemi Committee Hammad Siddiqui to be behind the deadly incident,” claimed an officer. “Apart from Siddiqui, another party’s workers Rehman Bhola and Rizwan Qureshi’s names will be included in the FIR, for lighting the fire and killing innocent factory workers.”

Baldia factory fire: Police submit reinvestigation report to home department

The officer further explained that the police are now waiting for the go-ahead from the home department. “After a go-ahead in the first stage, their names will be placed in the FIR, then they will be declared absconders and proclaimed offenders and finally their red-warrants will be issued as apparently all of the suspects are currently living abroad,” explained an officer.

In the immediate aftermath of the incident, an inquiry team had declared the fire to be accidental.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 23rd, 2016.

Related Videos

Facebook Conversations

Reader Comments (12)

  • Procrastinator
    Feb 23, 2016 - 10:54AM

    Once identified, the culprits should be burned to death!Recommend

  • Saleem
    Feb 23, 2016 - 2:55PM

    A criminal, regardless of any party affiliation, must be arrested and pay for damages, along with his party.Recommend

  • Distiller
    Feb 23, 2016 - 4:08PM

    criminals should be punish and the initial inquiry team should also be punished as they try to cover criminalsRecommend

  • Shakil Ahmed Khan
    Feb 23, 2016 - 5:28PM

    Send this military court for quick outcome now, and MQM should stop itself calling a political party!
    This is how they make money and then launder it to London!Recommend

  • Syedpk (MQM supporter)
    Feb 23, 2016 - 7:00PM

    separately and independently it should be investigated who were responsible for not letting people out … I doubt it was the extortionists. (if they were they should be tried on that account too).Recommend

  • Muzaffar
    Feb 23, 2016 - 8:26PM

    why were all the suspects allowed to leave the country ?Recommend

  • Last Man Alive
    Feb 23, 2016 - 9:23PM

    Meanwhile the bhatta murderers are busy in staging “token hunger strikes”

    for their master’s right to freely spew venom against this country in this

    country from his master MI6’s safe haven.Recommend

  • Karachiwala
    Feb 23, 2016 - 9:24PM

    >A four-member team of forensic experts had arrived in Karachi from Punjab in October 2015, to help officials ascertain the cause of the fire.

    thats all needed to ascertain the cause.Recommend

  • Parvez
    Feb 24, 2016 - 12:58AM

    If so………why is our justice system dragging its feet on punishing them ? Justice delayed is justice denied.Recommend

  • Karachiwala
    Feb 24, 2016 - 1:17AM

    @last man alive.
    stop behaving like an ostrich!Recommend

  • Shakil Ahmed Khan
    Feb 24, 2016 - 1:36AM

    @Syedpk (MQM supporter):
    sometime you need to sit back and ask yourself do you really want to support a party that mass murder people only for mere money?Recommend

  • Juan Mihalis
    Feb 24, 2016 - 1:47AM

    @Saleem: pay for damages? Hundreds burnt … Families destroyed … Children left homeless … The repercussions were severe at best!! The perpetrators and thier supporters must meet thier maker nothing less than that will suffice!Recommend

More in Pakistan