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Baldia factory owner makes shocking revelations about incident

KARACHI: The Baldia factory owner Arshad Bhaila recorded his testimony in Baldia factory fire case through video link from the Pakistan embassy in the Dubai, ARY News reported on Thursday.

The factory owner while recording his statement has claimed that MQM started demanding ‘protection money’ from them in 2004.

سانحہ بلدیہ فیکٹری مالک کے سنسنی خیز انکشافات

سانحہ بلدیہ فیکٹری مالک کے سنسنی خیز انکشافات — 2004 میں ایم کیوایم کو 15 سے 20 لاکھ بھتہ جانا شروع ہوا — 2012 میں حماد صدیقی نے 25 کروڑ کا مطالبہ کیا — ملزم رحمان بھولا نے دھمکی دی 25 کروڑ دو یا پارٹنر شپ کرو — دباو میں ایم کیوایم سے معاملات طے کیے — ملزم علی قادری کے اکاونٹ میں 5 کروڑ 98 لاکھ جمع کرائے#ARYNews #BaldiaFactoryCase #MQM

Posted by ARY News on Thursday, September 19, 2019

“It all started in 2004 when MQM started demanding extortion through one of our employees, Mansoor. Mansoor took ‘protection money’ worth Rs 1.5 million for MQM in 2014,” he told  Karachi anti-terrorism court (ATC), during a hearing of the case today (Thursday).

Arshad Bhaila claimed that Hammad Siddique had demanded Rs250 million ‘protection money’ in 2012.  The factory owner further revealed that Rehman Bhola threatened them to give extortion of Rs250 million or do a partnership.

The factory owner told the court that former CPLC chief Ahmed Chinoy had sent them a message from the Governor House. He said that they were asked to hand themselves to the police and compensate the families of the fire victims.

He said that MQM’s former MNA Salman Baloch came to meet him in jail, adding that the political party kept pressurising them even when they were released.

“Salman Mujahid Baloch met us in Central jail Karachi and asked to take his services as a lawyer in the factory fire case. After getting bail we decided to settled things with MQM as they [MQM] were continuously pressurizing us and giving threats.

He claimed that they even paid Rs50 million to Ali Qadri, who claimed to be a close aide of then MQM deputy convener Anees Qaimkhani.

Read More: Baldia Factory Fire: SHC rejects plea against video link testimony of owners

The blaze at Ali Enterprises factory in Baldia Town of Karachi on September 11, 2012, had killed at least 258 people in one of Pakistan’s worst industrial disasters.

The case took a new turn in February 2015 when Pakistan Rangers, Sindh, submitted a joint investigation team (JIT) report in the Sindh High Court (SHC), which revealed that the factory was set on fire after its owners failed to pay protection money.

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