KARACHI: An anti-terrorism court (ATC) adjourned the hearing of Baldia factory fire case until September 25 and said the accused will be indicted during the next hearing.
The ATC resumed hearing of the case on Monday with all the accused provided copies of the case.
Police produced Abdul Rehman alias Bhola, Zubair alias Charya and other accused before the court. The ATC expressed displeasure over the absence of two accused, Umar Hassan Qadri and Ali Hassan Qadri.
The Sindh High Court (SHC) has ordered the case to be expedited and ordered that its progress report must be submitted after every hearing.
The court also sought arguments on Rehman’s bail plea during the next hearing, while the factory owners, Abdul Aziz Bhaila and others, filed a plea seeking the return of money deposited as surety bond.
The ATC also reserved its verdict on the acquittal of two factory employees, Shahrukh and Ali Ahmed.
In September 2012, a deadly fire devoured 269 lives at a factory situated in Karachi’s Baldia Town. Subsequent investigations led to revelations that the factory was deliberately set ablaze over non-payment of protection money.
Rehman, the prime accused, had revealed that he deliberately set ablaze the Ali Enterprise factory on the instructions of MQM leader Hammad Siddiqui.
Bhola had also revealed that the MQM leader gave him the instruction to set fire to the factory due to non-payment of Rs250 million protection money.
He had claimed that the intent behind the arson attack was only to intimidate owners of the Ali Enterprise, he didn’t anticipate that his act would result in the loss of lives.
Rehman was arrested in Bangkok by Interpol, about 40 commandos raided a room at the Royal Garden Home Hotel in Soi Nana and arrested Rehman, 46, who was staying alone in the room. The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) brought Rehman to Karachi from Bangkok.
A two-member FIA went to Thailand to get custody of Rehman. After reaching Thailand the team requested access to Bhola, who was under treatment at a hospital of Bangkok prison for having kidney problems.
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