Rauf Siddiqui appears before ATC in Baldia factory fire case


KARACHI: Former provincial minister and senior Muttahida Quami Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) leader Rauf Siddiqui on Saturday appeared before an anti-terrorism court (ATC) in the Baldia factory fire case.

The key accused, Abdul Rehman alias Rehman Bhola and Zubair alias Zubair Charya, were also produced before the court.

More than 12 witnesses, mostly relatives of deceased factory workers, recorded their statements and told the court that they learned through media that fire erupted in the factory.

They stated that they immediately reached the factory where police contingents and fire brigade staff were already present while people were being pulled out from the factory.

The witnesses stated that bodies of the people were given by police some days after the incident. They told the court it was hard to identify the faces of the deceased workers as they were completely burnt.

ATC sought more witnesses by October 27 and adjourned the hearing till then. The statements of more than 300 people, who are part of the case, have been submitted.

Counsel for MQM-P leader Khalid Maqbool Siddiqi had appealed for acquittal. Around 250 workers of a garments factory in Baldia Town were killed in 2012 when a fire broke out in the factory and they could not escape.