Monday Jul 06, 2020
KARACHI: The Joint Investigation Team (JIT) in its conclusive report of the Baldia Town factory has revealed that the factory was torched by assailants over non-payment of Rs200 million as extortion money, reported The News.
The JIT, in its report, stated that the inferno incident was ‘a terrorism act’, rejecting it as an accident where more than 250 people had been burnt alive on September 11, 2012, in Karachi.
The report was signed by officers of law enforcement institutions who have contributed in the investigation of the factory fire case. The investigators revealed in the 36-page report that the factory had been torched by assailants over non-payment of Rs200 million as extortion money.
The findings showed the irresponsible role of the police, which seemed to be hiding the real characters involved in the mass killing of innocent people.
The JIT investigators further stated in the report that the prime characters in the terrorism incident of Baldia Town factory fire should be brought back from abroad and their names should be included in the Exit Control List (ECL) and their passports seized.
They also sought to provide protection to the witnesses of the incident. It emerged that Hammad Siddiqui and Rehman Bhola were directly involved in the terrorism incident which was previously dealt with in a non-professional manner.
The JIT members found that many elements attempted internally and externally to influence the investigation process in order to benefit the people behind the carnage. It is also exposed that a 1,000-yard bungalow had been purchased in Hyderabad city by using the extortion money by the assailants before the occurrence of the Baldia factory incident.
The First Investigation Report (FIR) of the terrorism act was presented in a way that it was simply a murder incident, said the JIT report, adding the police had failed to carry out the investigation in an impartial way after being pressurised.
In its report, the joint investigation team has demanded to register a new FIR and nominating the prime accused, including Bhola, Siddiqui, Zubair Charya and others in the case.
The Sindh government on Monday made three JIT reports public, as earlier vowed by provincial Spokesperson Murtaza Wahab in a press conference.
The three JITs are related to Lyari gangwar leader Uzair Baloch, Nisar Morai and Baldia Factory case.
Morai, the former chairman of the Fishermen Cooperative Society (FCS), was accused of involvement in the murder case of a former chief of the Pakistan Steel Mills.
The JIT in its findings said Baloch, whose father was kidnapped and killed by father of Arshad Pappu joined Rehman Dacoit gang to avenge the murder of his father.
“After killing of Rehman Dacoit in 2008 Baloch took over his gang and launched Peoples Amman Committee (PAC) under which garb, he continued his criminal activities and gang war in Lyari against Arshad Pappu and Ghaflar Zikri groups,” the report said.
It added, “Beside it, his gang war activities also continued against MOM target killers/activists in the neighbouring towns of Lyari.”
The report further stated that in April 2012, police launched an operation in Lyari against PAC but suffered heavy men/material losses and failed to not enter into mainland Lyari due to stiff armed resistance from PAC gangsters and remained restricted to Cheel Chowk.
“ln March 2013, Arshad Pappu was brutally killed by Uzair's gangsters, which made Uzair Baloch the undisputed criminal king of Lyari. However, soon after the murder of Arshad Pappu, PAC gangsters developed an internal rift, where after its mainstay Noor Muhammad @ Baba Ladla, separated his group which created another strife in Lyari with Uzair Baloch gang having the upper hand,” it added.
The Sindh government is yet to release the details of a JIT regarding the Baldia factory fire on its website.
Earlier on Saturday, the Sindh government had announced to make JIT reports public, including the probe findings against Uzair Baloch, Baldia Town factory inferno and Nisar Morai cases on Monday.
Information Minister Nasir Shah and Sindh government spokesperson Murtaza Wahab could not be reached for a comment in this regard.
Originally published in The News