Tuesday Sep 07 2021

Karachi factory fire: Court cancels interim bail of 3 suspects, orders arrest

  • Interim bail had been granted to landowner Faisal Tariq, factory owner Hassan Ali Mehta, and factory manager Imran Zaidi.
  • Police have arrested all three suspects.
  • Faisal Tariq tried fleeing but police were successful in arresting all three individuals.

 KARACHI: A district and sessions court on Tuesday cancelled the interim bail of three suspects booked in the Korangi factory fire incident — which killed 16 people — and ordered their arrest. 

The interim bail had been granted to the landowner Faisal Tariq, factory owner Hassan Ali Mehta, and factory manager Imran Zaidi, as per Geo News.

Per the report, Faisal Tariq tried fleeing but police were successful in arresting all three individuals.  

Some new details have also emerged as a result of an investigation into the case. Per the report, when the police questioned the Sindh Building Control Authority (SBCA) and the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) authorities, it turned out that according to the property documents, a residential building had been constructed in place of the factory.

SBCA said that a construction map comprising five bedrooms, a kitchen, and a restroom had been approved because the place where the factory building was constructed is a residential area. The map did not include a fire exit, which is mandatory for factories.

SBCA authorities added that when the factory building was being constructed in a residential area, everyone remained quiet, adding that even the police silently watched but did not take action.

Police added that the factory owner, Hassan Ali Mehta, used a single identity card number to register the names of two people. 

He first got an identity card issued against the name of Murtaza Hassan in Pakistan, while he changed his name to Hassan Ali Mehta in the United Kingdom without publicly announcing a change of name.

The police added that Mehta signed a contract with the factory owner in 2019.

Deadly Karachi chemical factory fire kills 16 labourers

On August 27, 16 labourers lost their lives in a fire that broke out at a chemical factory in Mehran Town, Korangi. A day later, a case had been registered against the owner, manager, supervisors and watchman of the chemical factory.

Mehta, Zaidi, two supervisors Zafar and Rehan, and watchman Syed Zarin had been named in the FIR registered at the Korangi Industrial Area police station. The case had been registered under Sections 34 and Section 322 for the deaths of the workers.

According to the FIR, there was no emergency exit in case of an unfortunate incident and there was only one way out of the facility.

The FIR stated that there was no alarm system in the factory either and that the janitor was asked to open the lock. The building was constructed in such a way that no one could get out in an emergency, the FIR said.