Fresh JIT report declares Baldia factory incident as arson

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Report nominates 8 persons, including MQM leader Hammad Siddiqui, as suspects

Court requested that a fresh FIR be registered into the case under the anti-terrorism act

Report says MQM leader burnt down the factory after Rs 200m in extortion money was not paid

A new JIT report into the Baldia Town Factory fire incident has been presented by Investigation Officer Sajjad Saddozai in the Court of Session judge West; the report has declared the incident a terror act and nominated eight persons, including MQM leader Hammad Siddiqui as accused. However, the report does not mention former MQM deputy convener Anees Qaimkhani with respect to any reference.

The court has been requested that a new FIR be registered on this incident and investigation be conducted in the light of it.

Anees Qaimkhani who returned to the country along with former MQM leader Mustafa Kamal on Friday, was earlier seen as a suspect in the case.

The report said that the JIT had concluded its investigation into the incident. The eight persons nominated in the case as accused include MQM leader Hammad Siddiqui, the then joint sector in charge Rehman Bhola, Omar Hussain Qadri, Ali Hussain Qadri, Zubair Dahria, Dr Abdul Sattar and Iqbal Adeeb Khanum.

The report recommended that the previous JIT report be abolished and cases be registered under the anti-terrorism act in the light of new JIT report against those nominated as accused.

The report said that the factory was torched for not paying extortion money amounting to Rs 200 million by the owners. Hammad Siddiqui had demanded extortion money from the owners of the factory through the then Orangi town joint sector in charge Rehman Bhola. The factory owners met MQM leaders at 90 but the amount of extortion money was not decreased.

At the behest of the MQM leader, the factory was set on fire by using a chemical as accelerant. Some employees of the factory who had political affiliations were also involved in torching the factory. There were two eye witnesses of the incident as well.

The report said that over Rs 50 million were provided for disbursement among affectees of the incident as compensation. This amount, however, was also taken by the nominated accused and nothing was paid to the affectees.

The court was told that one of the accused in the case, Zubair alias Chirya, who was a resident of Sector 11 North Karachi had fled to Saudi Arabia. His family members are not cooperating in providing any information about him.

The court has been requested through the JIT’s report that names of those nominated in the report be placed on the ECL and their red warrants be issued so that they might be arrested through Interpol.

The court inquired from the investigation officer where the original report was.

The court was told that the original report was sent to the Interior Ministry for further action. As soon as the original report is received it will be presented before the court.

The court reprimanded the police for not arresting the accused Mansoor Khan despite a lapse of over one month.

The court while adjourning the hearing of the case till March 22 ordered to arrest the accused who had absconded ant to present them before it in the next hearing.

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