KARACHI: Six years have passed since a deadly fire claimed lives of hundreds of workers at a factory in the city’s Baldia Town, but the case is yet to reach it’s conclusion, rather it’s far from it.
Out of 720 witnesses named in the case, statements have only been taken from 150.
More than 200 workers were burnt alive while working in the factory in the city in 2012.
As per the report submitted by a joint investigation team in 2015, the factory fire was a planned sabotage activity and not an accidental fire. It added that the act was carried out over refusal to pay extortion of Rs200 million and partnership in factory profits by factory owners to office-bearers Rehman Bhola and Hammad Siddiqui.
Bhola was arrested from Bangkok, Thailand, by the Interpol in December 2016. Named to be key suspect behind the deadliest industrial fire, Bhola had confessed that he deliberately set fire to Ali Enterprise on the instructions of Siddiqui, a leader of Muttahida Qaumi Movement.
He 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 in extortion.
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.