Baldia Town factory owners ‘go underground’


After appearing in a police station, here the proprietors of the “holocaust factory”, which became a homicidal gas chamber for hundreds of workers, have gone underground in tight state security on Saturday. Earlier, the owners of the factory Abdul Aziz Bhaila, Arshad Bhaila, and Shahid Bhaila showed up in SITE-B Police Station to have their statements recorded which they could not as the officer concerned was out of his office. A new development in the case is a letter written to State Bank of Pakistan to freeze the accounts of the accused factory owners. According to SP Investigation West, Saqib Sultan, the accused have been shifted to an unknown location to ensure that no untoward incidents came in the way of justice.
Sultan added that standard investigation procedure would be employed in the case of factory owners who face murder charges under Section 302 of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC). He said police had SBP moved to block the bank accounts of the accused to halt a probable transaction of Rs500 million in its tracks. While talking to the media in SITE-B Police Station, Shahid Bhaila said they were ready to appear before any investigating authority and vowed to cooperate in the investigation.
Replying to a question, he denied the presence of any inflammable chemical in the factory saying it was a washing unit not a dyeing one. Police also conducted raids and arrested more than 10 workers including security guard for investigation. SSP West Amir Farooqui told that police are investigating that who ordered for closure of doors of the factory. Meanwhile, the CCTV video of the factory tragedy has been released which shows that the fire started on the first floor at 6:56PM in the factory cutting department and afterwards workers started to run. The CCTV video from outside the factory has not been decoded yet. Earlier, the Sindh High Court Larkana Bench had granted the owners Rs 500,000 each protective bail for eight days (till 21 September). Arshad Bhaila claimed the fire first broke out in the warehouse and he himself called the fire brigade, which arrived about an hour and a half late. Arshad disclosed that, on that tragic day, he and his brother Shahid stayed out in the burning factory till midnight. He said they got themselves bailed to share the grief of their deceased workers’ families. Arshad vowed to compensate the victims according to the industry and labor laws.