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Important evidences and files destroyed in ‘mysterious’ City Court fire

KARACHI: Numerous important files and evidence of criminal trials and various cases was destroyed in fire that recently broke out in Mal Khana of the city court in the early hours of Wednesday.

Police while investigating the matter is still not sure of the exact cause of the “mysterious fire”. The Karachi Bar Association (KBA) has demanded a judicial inquiry into the fire incident that will no doubt benefit the accused parties.

The cases of prosecution would suffer irreparable damage in the absence of the case files destroyed in the blaze.

Police skeptical about the cause has called upon the Army bomb experts to further help with the investigation.

According to DIG South Azad Khan, the fire erupted at around 1:30 am inside a sealed room of the Mal Khana but the security stationed at the spot noticed it at 2:30 am when they smelled something burning in the room. They immediately informed the fire brigade, which sent a fire tender after receiving the call at 2:31 am.

Upon arrival, the firefighters figured that more resources will be needed to extinguish the blaze and called in more fire tenders from across the city. The fire engines of the Karachi Port Trust and Pakistan Navy also took part in the firefighting effort.

Small explosions inside the building spread panic in the surrounding area for which the bomb disposal squad (BDS) was also summoned. The BDS officials explained that the explosions occurred because of the live bullets kept in the Mal Khana went off due to the fire.

Around 6:55 am 24 fire tenders managed to control the blaze and the process of cooling work continued till late in the evening.

A police team led by DIG Azad Khan along with army experts, Rangers, and other officials visited the scene.

“A forensic examination would be conducted by two teams of experts as the police has sought help from the Punjab Forensic Agency along with forensic experts from Sindh,” DIG Khan said.

The DIG further stated that the investigators have also collected the footage of closed-circuit television cameras (CCTVs) installed inside and outside the Mal Khana. The footage suggested that the door remained sealed and no one had entered it.

The court proceedings remained suspended at the City Courts on Wednesday since the under trial prisoners could not be brought to an unstable premises.



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