Hammad Siddiqui, prime suspect in Baldia factory blaze, held in Dubai


KARACHI: Hammad Siddiqui, the prime suspect in the Baldia Town factory blaze and and former chief of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement’s Karachi organising committee, has been reportedly arrested in Dubai on Friday.

According to a private news channel, Siddiqui is likely to be brought back to Karachi on Monday, as the Pakistani consulate in Dubai has been issued directives in this regard.

At least 260 workers were killed and dozens injured when a fire swept through the garment factory in Karachi’s Baldia Town in September 2012.

The main accused of the Baldia factory tragedy, Abdul Rehman alias Bhola, had admitted before the investigation team that he had deliberately set ablaze the Ali Enterprises on the instructions of MQM leader Hammad Siddiqui.

Rehman said that Hammad had demanded Rs250 million as protection money and a share in the profits from the factory owners, and when they refused, Rehman, being the adhoc in-charge of MQM’s Baldia Town Sector, was tasked with committing arson at the factory with the use of chemicals.

Nevertheless, Karachi Police chief Mushtaq Maher expressed ignorance about the detention of Hammad Siddiqui, saying no institution contacted them in connection with the arrest of Hammad Siddiqui. He said if contacted after reviewing the case against the accused a team would be sent to Dubai.