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ATC announces verdict in Baldia factory fire case

KARACHI: An anti-terrorism case in Karachi has awarded death sentence to two accused including Rehman alias Bhola and Zubair aka Charya in Baldia factory fire case, ARY News reported on Tuesday.

The anti-terrorism court, in its verdict, acquitted Muttahida Qaumi Movement- Pakistan (MQM-P) leader Rauf Siddiqui in the Baldia factory inferno case. The verdict was announced after eight years of the terrorising incident. Moreover, three gatekeepers of the factory, Fazal Mehmood, Arshad Mehmood, and Ali Mohammad, and manager Shahrukh were handed life imprisonment for abetment.

Former in-charge of MQM’s Karachi Tanzeemi Committee Hammad Siddiqui and Ali Hassan Qadri have been declared proclaimed offenders over their perpetual absence from the trial proceedings.

The jail officials produced two accused persons including Rehman alias Bhola and Zubair alias Charya before the ATC in Baldia factory inferno case. Moreover, a senior leader of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) Rauf Siddiqui also arrived in the court.

Read: ATC reserves verdict in Baldia factory fire tragedy case

Strict security arrangements have been made in and around the court’s building and entry to unauthorised persons were closed in the court.

The ATC was expected to announce its verdict in the Baldia factory fire case on September 7, however, it was postponed till September 22.

It is pertinent to mention here that on July 05, the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) had stated in its conclusive report that the Baldia Town factory inferno incident was ‘a terrorism act’, rejecting it as an accident where more than 250 people had been burnt alive on September 11 – 2012 in Karachi.

Read: Baldia factory inferno declared a ‘terrorism incident’ in JIT report

The investigators had revealed in the 27-page report that the factory had been torched by assailants over non-payment of Rs200 million as extortion money.

They had also sought to provide protection to the witnesses of the incident. It emerged that Hammad Siddiqui and Rehman Bhola was directly involved in the terrorism incident which was previously dealt with a non-professional manner.

The JIT members had found out that many elements attempted internally and externally influence the investigation process in order to benefit the people behind the carnage.

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