KARACHI: Two government officers accused by former Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) member Salman Mujahid Baloch of facilitating the Baldia factory fire have defended themselves against involvement in the incident.
Salman Mujahid Baloch, who was recently expelled by the MQM-P led by Farooq Sattar, had written a letter to Director General Sindh Rangers accusing four government officers of facilitating the 2012 Baldia factory fire tragedy.
He said that four officers stationed in Baldia Town named Akmal Siddiqui, Mirza Asif Baig, Ameer Ali Qadri and Shahnawaz Bhatti facilitated the culprits of the tragic incident.
However, two of the accused government officers have defended themselves and said that there were blackmailed by Baloch and blamed for the Baldia Town incident after refusing to comply.
Asad Baig said that Baloch use to threaten him and heeven have evidence to support claim. Speaking to ARY News, he said that he was not involved in any criminal activities and was working on his position.
He denied having any connection with the Baldia factory incident and said that he was at home when it occurred. He claimed that Baloch routinely threatened them, and even sent a message on Whatsapp threatening to implicate him in the Baldia incident. He claimed that Baloch even threatened to kill him, and now he has the right to take legal action against him.
Another accused Shahnawaz Bhatti condemned the serious allegations leveled against him and said that he was a government officer who was doing this duty and has no political connections.
He said that he was suspended during the incident, and the allegations by Baloch were an attempt to smear his reputation and respect, and he will initiate legal proceedings against him.
Both said that there were ready to cooperate with any investigation. A phone called in September between Baig with Baloch showed the latter openly threatening him.
Nearly 250 people were burnt to death after a horrific blaze erupted in the factory in September 2012. The government formed a Joint Investigation Team to thoroughly investigate the matter.
The JIT stated that then in charge of MQM’s Karachi Tanzeemi Committee (KTC) Hammad Siddiqui had ordered Rahman alias Bhola and others to set the factory on fire. Both are now under custody.