Baldia factory fire: IO was removed under political pressure, says prosecutor

Court directs prosecutor to continue arguments at the next hearing and adjourned the hearing


​ Our Correspondent March 06, 2020
Baldia Town factory. PHOTO: AFP

KARACHI: Special Public Prosecutor Sajid Mehboob Sheikh informed an anti-terrorism court (ATC) on Thursday that the investigation officer (IO) of Baldia factory fire case was changed five days after the fire erupted, "under the pressure of a political party."

Presenting arguments before the court at Karachi Central Jail's anti-terrorism complex, he said the incident took place on September 11, 2012 and Inspector Zafar Iqbal was assigned the investigation of the fire on September 12, 2012, adding that Iqbal was replaced on September 19.

He also revealed that on the basis of the available evidence, house of Zubair Charya, one of the accused in the case, was raided two days after the fire. Later, the IO raided the residence of Rehman Bhola, the primary accused, he said adding that though Bhola was not found at his house and fled the country. Bhola’s name was then included in the Exit Control List.

According to Sheikh, the investigation report of the incident concludes that the fire engulfed ground and second floors of the factory, while the goods kept on the first floor were not affected by the fire. The court directed the prosecutor to continue arguments at the next hearing and adjourned the hearing.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 6th, 2020.

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