Baldia factory fire case: SHC seeks trial court record by month end

Trial being conducted against MQM supporter Zubair alias Lala and others


Our Correspondent July 19, 2017
The incident, earlier deemed an accident, in which casualties multiplied due to the lack of safety measures, was recently termed an act of arson over non-payment of extortion. PHOTO: FILE

KARACHI: The Sindh High Court (SHC) has called for the record of the Baldia factory fire trial proceedings being conducted against Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) activist Zubair alias Lala alias Chariya and others.

A two-judge bench, headed by Justice Muhammad Farooq Shah, sought such record by July 31.

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Zubair had approached the court against the dismissal of his bail application by the concerned anti-terrorism court (ATC) where the trial against MQM leaders Hammad Siddiqui, Abdul Rauf Siddiqui, Abdul Rehman alias Bhola and others is pending in the factory fire case.

A joint investigation team had found that Zubair, a supporter of the MQM who ran the finishing department at the ill-fated Ali Enterprises, came to the factory on the day of the incident and he was accompanied by Waseem Dehelvi and four others.

An accountant at the factory, Muhammad Arshad, testified that he saw Zubair handing out black shopping bags to the men accompanying him [Zubair].

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Zubair was the first to toss a bag to the side of the warehouse and the rest followed course, throwing their bags in different directions. The fire erupted within a short period of time, Arshad said.

Zubair's lawyer, Advocate Muhammad Tamaz Khan, argued that four other suspects in the same case had already been granted bail and pleaded that his client may also be granted the same.

The special public prosecutor contended that Zubair had confessed to his offence in court. He added that the fire in Ali Enterprises was not an accident. The factory was intentionally set ablaze, which is a criminal offence as 250 workers lost their lives.

Baldia factory tragedy: Factory fire suspect requests bail from SHC

The judges sought the record of the proceedings conducted so far by the concerned ATC against the applicant by July 31.

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