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Key eyewitness identifies MQM worker in Baldia factory case

KARACHI: Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) worker Zubair Charya was present at Baldia factory when it was being set on fire, a key eyewitness in the inferno case testified before an anti-terrorism court on Tuesday, ARY News reported.

The eyewitness, who had gone into hiding fearing for life, appeared in the ATC and recorded his statement.

He picked out Zubair as one of the accused persons, who were present inside the factory at the time when it was being put on fire.

He said the accused took plastic bags containing something out of his pockets and tossed them over clothes present in the industrial unit’s godown. He said Zubair Charya was smiling as the people were burning in the fire.

During cross-examination, the witness told the court that he had gone to Punjab as he feared for life.

The hearing was adjourned till April 3.

At least 285 workers were killed and many others were injured after a fire broke out at the factory, dubbed the Baldia factory for its location in Baldia Town, on September 11, 2012.

Accused Abdul Rehman alias Bhola, a former sector-in-charge of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), had earlier confessed to the crime before investigators.

In his confessional statement, Bhola stated that he with Zubair, alias Charya, set the factory ablaze on the instructions of then chief of the MQM organizing committee Hammad Siddiqui after the factory owners declined to pay protection money.

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