Baldia inferno case: a cover-up

February 04, 2013

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THE Baldia inferno was a big accident. I personally went through the entire police file and the order of the magistrate in which he had issued warrants for arrest of officials of the civil defence, labour department and SITE.

There was a clear violation of the cabinet meeting’s decision of 2001 in which it was decided that the labour department and civil defence would carry out a joint visit twice a month to various factories, but during the past 11 years there had not been a single visit.

While going through the police file, before inserting section 302 PPC, I asked inquiry officer Jahan Zeb about the performance of fire-tenders and the role of the officers of Civil Defence Department, Labour Department and SITE. I did not get any proper reply.

Although investigators knew that there were other factors involved such as extortion and terrorism, they were only concerned about the deletion of Section 302 PPC instead of taking action against the negligent departments.

I would like to draw the attention of victims’ families that prosecutors worked on the case under stress so that government officers should not be nominated as accused, and the police did not furnish a list of all officers who had been working since 2001 till the incident.

The repetition of such an incident cannot be ruled out because our government functionaries have been providing shelter to the culprits.

A VICTIM Karachi