Wednesday Feb 14, 2018
KARACHI: After the passing of six years, an anti-terrorism court on Wednesday indicted the prime accused in the Baldia factory fire case.
The blaze, which had erupted at Ali Enterprises in Karachi's Baldia Town on September 11, 2012, had claimed the lives of over 250 labourers.
The prime accused, Abdul Rahman alias Bhola and Zubair alias Charya, were presented during the hearing of the case which was held in the metropolis' central jail.
After a not guilty plea by the accused, the court scheduled the next hearing of the case of February 17.
Another accused in the case, MQM's Rauf Siddiqi, was also present during the trial, while Ali Hassan Qadri was declared an absconder following his absence.
Earlier in October, Hammad Siddiqui, another prime accused in the case, was arrested from Dubai.
Siddiqui was the former in-charge of Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) Karachi Tanzeemi Committee.
In Dec 2016, key accused in the Baldia factory fire case, Abdul Rahman alias Bhola, was arrested from Bangkok, Thailand, by the Interpol.
The key suspect behind Pakistan's deadliest industrial fire had confessed that he deliberately set fire to Ali Enterprise on the instructions of MQM leader Hammad Siddiqui.
Bhola had revealed that the MQM leader instructed him to set fire to the factory in the vicinity of Baldia Town Karachi because of non-payment of Rs250 million 'bhatta (protection money)'.
He had claimed the intent behind the arson attack was only to intimidate owners of the factory, and he didn’t anticipate that his act would result in the loss of lives.