KARACHI: The case against the alleged target killer, Rizwan Qureshi, who had made stark revelations about the Baldia factory fire incident, may linger on as the court trying him has gone vacant.
Qureshi, a Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) worker according to court documents, was arrested in June 2013 for possessing an illegal weapon. He was later implicated in five other cases of murder, based on his confessions during interrogation. The suspect was granted bail in all the cases against him and was appearing before the court regularly for the hearings until a joint investigation team’s (JIT) report was made public.
The JIT, in subject, quoted Qureshi as saying that there were MQM workers behind the Baldia factory inferno. The report also quoted him as saying that the blaze in which at least 250 people were burnt to death was allegedly perpetrated over refusal to pay a hefty amount in extortion.
Over his repeated absence, a District South court at the judicial complex inside the Karachi Central Jail had issued non-bailable warrants for him during the two previous hearings. His guarantors were also issued notices. But they failed to inform the court about his whereabouts.
The court has now gone vacant after the promotion of its additional district and sessions judge, Tariq Mehmood Khoso. The authorities have yet to appoint another judge to the court.
His cases were fixed on Saturday but no proceedings could be held. The court, through its office, issued directions to the parties to comply with the previous order.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 12th, 2015.