KARACHI: Muttahida Qaumi Movement worker Umair Siddiqui has admitted that a party sector incharge set the Baldia factory ablaze in 2012, Express News reported.
“Umair Siddiqui admitted MQM sector incharge Abdur Rahman set Baldia factory on fire,” a Rangers spokesperson said on Saturday.
Earlier, Rangers placed the blame of the Baldia factory fire on the MQM in a report submitted to the Sindh High Court. The deadly fire killed more than 259 factory workers.
Siddiqui believed to be MQM ‘leak’: sources
In another significant development, inside sources said Siddiqui, who was arrested on February 15 from the surrounding areas of Nine Zero, is believed to be the person who tipped-off Rangers on the ‘illegal activities’ taking place inside the MQM headquarters.
Rangers carried out a raid on Nine Zero on March 11, arresting MQM workers and seizing arms found inside the headquarters.
Siddiqui was presented to the anti-terrorism court today.
“In 2015, to avoid raids, sector in charges were instructed to shift their weapons to the party headquarters in Nine Zero,” Siddiqui was quoted as saying, as mentioned in a press release issued by Rangers on Saturday.
“The weapons were transported from place to another in their Khidmat-e-Khalq ambulances.” The statement further said that Siddiqui admitted to buying weapons from Quetta for the party.
The statement said he killed 120 people in Karachi, including MQM worker Amer Khan’s nephew.
“Siddiqui admitted that MQM’s Anis Qaim Khani would order him to kill certain people and he would carry out the targeted killings.”
“On the orders of Karachi Tanzeemi Committee (KTC) member Hammad Siddiqui, Siddiqui formed a target killing team comprising of 32 workers,” the Rangers press release stated.
The press release further added the target killing team killed 120 MQM opponents.
“Siddiqui’s target killing team killed Rangers lance naik Shaukat as well as PPP’s Faisal Raza Abedi’s guard and MQM leader Amir Khan’s nephew,” it added.
The statement clarified the target killers were not only tasked to kill MQM opponents but MQM workers as well.
Further, the press release stated, that Siddiqui admitted 60 to 70 MQM workers caste ‘fake’ votes in favour of MQM leader Faisal Sabzwari in the May 2013 elections.
Responding to the news, MQM chief Altaf Hussain disassociated himself with Umair, saying he did not know him.
“Media trial has been launched against MQM on gun point in the same manner as it was conducted in 1992,” the MQM chief added, in an interview to a private news channel.
Siddiqui has been handed over to the Rangers on a 90-day physical remand.
Rangers say that he confessed that MQM used to transport arms and ammunition in ambulances.
On September 24, 2014, Rangers conducted a raid at an MQM office of and rounded up dozens of workers affiliated with the party.
Eyewitnesses said a heavy contingent of rangers reached and cordoned off the office when a general workers’ meeting – in which more than 500 workers and local leaders were present – was underway.
Sources say Rangers were attempting to arrest Siddiqui during the arrest, but he managed to flee.
View a copy of the Rangers press release here: