Main suspect in Baldia factory fire retracts confessional statement

Rehman Bhola says law enforcers forced him to confess in statement filed to ATC


Our Correspondent December 31, 2017

KARACHI: The case of the Baldia Town factory fire took a surprising turn on Saturday when the prime suspect, Rehman alias Bhola, retracted his confessional statement earlier given before the investigation officer.

A written application filed by Bhola during his hearing on Saturday stated that the accused did not record any statement under Section 164 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. The jail authorities had presented Bhola before the Anti-Terrorism Court.

“I did not set fire to the factory in Baldia Town nor have I made any confessions regarding it. The authorities forced me to confess,” reads the application.

In a separate application, Bhola has also demanded a copy of the joint investigation team report pertaining to Rizwan Qureshi, the other accused in the case.

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Others named in the FIR include Dr Abdul Sattar, Umar Hasan Kadri and Adeeb Iqbal also recorded their statements before the investigation officer. According to the statement, Ali Hasan Kadri was given Rs63.5 million for business purposes. The court cleared Iqbal in the case and he is no longer required to appear for the hearings.

The court has reserved its verdict on an application filed by Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) leader Rauf Siddiqui, who was listed in column two of the police challan. However, others listed in the column will continue to face trial. The investigation officer maintained that Siddiqui’s trial should continue, to which the MQM leader’s counsel argued that since the charges against his client were not proven, the police rightfully listed him in the second column of the challan.

The hearing was adjourned till January 3.

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