The parents of two workers, who were killed in the blaze that broke out at Ali Enterprises on September 11, 2012, filed a case at the Sindh High Court on Saturday against the authorities for failing to determine the identity of their children through DNA tests.
Hussain Ahmed and Dilawar Hussain are among those parents whose sons’ remains are yet to be identified.
At least 259 workers – according to official statistics – were killed in one of the biggest industrial disasters in the country. Rescue workers had retrieved 33 unidentified bodies, charred beyond recognition, from the destroyed building out of which only seven have been identified through DNA tests.
Hussain Ahmed told the judges that his 24-year-old son, Sharjeel, was working as helper with Ali Enterprises and has been missing since the fire. Dilawar Hussain submitted that his 23-year-old son, Asif Aziz, who worked as pressman at the factory, was also missing since September 11. “Although officials drew samples for the DNA tests multiple times, they have failed to determine whether or not their sons are among the unidentified bodies,” said their lawyer, Qadir Hussain Khan.
The petitioners claimed that while various government figures had announced compensation for the victims’ families, they had not received a single penny.
Both fathers asked the court to direct the authorities to expedite the DNA tests and also provide them the monetary compensation as promised by the government. Headed by Chief Justice Mushir Alam, the division bench issued notice to the interior secretary, Sindh home secretary, IG police, station house officer and the investigation in-charge at the SITE police station, and one of the factory owners, Shahid Abdul Aziz Bhailla, for January 15.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 13th, 2013.