JIT probing Baldia factory inferno to question suspects in London

Published August 26, 2015
The joint investigation team will record statements of the factory owners in London. —AFP/File
The joint investigation team will record statements of the factory owners in London. —AFP/File

KARACHI: The joint investigation team (JIT) formed to probe the Baldia Town factory inferno case has been granted permission to travel to London carry out further investigations in the case, DawnNews reported on Wednesday.

According to the details, the joint investigation team will record statements of the factory owners — currently present in London.

JIT members Sultan Khwaja, Munir Sheikh and Pir Mohammad Shah will travel to London to record statements from the factory owners with regards to the investigations in Baldia Town factory inferno case.

Know more: Baldia factory fire case: SHC wants JIT report placed before ‘competent forum’

Earlier this year, the case took a dramatic turn when a report by Rangers claimed that the Muttahida Qaumi Movement was behind the deadly fire that claimed the lives of at least 280 factory workers.

The report prepared by the joint investigation team was submitted to the Sindh High Court by an additional attorney general, along with a statement of the deputy assistant judge advocate general of Rangers, Major Ashfaque Ahmed.

Also read: Baldia factory fire: Victim families’ hope for justice fading away

The statement said the information had been disclosed by suspect Mohammad Rizwan Qureshi, an alleged worker of the MQM, on June 22, 2013 during joint investigation of the factory inferno.

According to the JIT report, the MQM worker revealed that a “well-known party high official” had demanded Rs200 million as Bhatta (extortion money) though his frontman from Ali Enterprises, the owners of the ill-fated factory, in Aug 2012.

Owner of the burnt industrial unit Abdul Aziz Bhaila and his sons Arshad Bhaila and Shahid Bhaila, general manager Mansoor and some gatekeepers have been booked in the case while on the directive a magistrate then managing director of SITE Abdul Rasheed Solangi, director of the labour department Zahid Gulzar Shaikh, additional controller of civil defence Ghulam Akbar and chief inspector (electrical) Amjad Ali were also named in the case for their alleged negligence.

More than 500 people, including 50 women, who were working in the evening shift of a garment factory, named Ali Enterprises, were trapped inside the building situated in Karachi's Baldia Twon when a fire erupted in September 2012.

Also read: Death toll of Karachi factory fire rises to 289

At least 280 people had lost their lives in the blaze.

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