Thursday, March 23, 2023

Another key witness identifies Rehman Bhola in Baldia factory fire case


KARACHI: The special public prosecutor on Monday presented a key witness of the Baldia factory fire case during hearing in the anti terrorism court, ARY News reported.

The witness immediately identified main accused Rehman Bhola during identification parade. He told the court he was appointed in the Karachi Water and Sewerage Board (KWSB) on recommendation of the Mutahidda Qaumi Movement (MQM).

He said he initially worked at the party’s unit office and was later made an assistant of the unit in-charge. The witness told the ATC bench that he would accompany Rehman Bhola to the factory in Baldia where he used to give extortion slips to the factory owners.

Read: Baldia factory set on fire over non-payment of extortion,’ ATC told

He informed that Rehman was the same man who last gave an extortion slip of Rs 25,000 to the factory in-charge a day before the fire erupted.

“Rehman Bhola phoned up GM of the factory, Mansoor, for extortion amount and the latter gave him the money.”

Special prosecutor Sajid Mehmoob Shaikh said the man who handed over extortion amount to sector office from the Baldia factory was Majid Baig, a member of the party’s unit office.

After hearing arguments from the witness, the court summoned more witnesses in the next hearing.

Read also: Key eyewitness identifies MQM worker in Baldia factory case

During last hearing a week ago, a key witness had confessed before the anti terrorism court that the factory was set on fire after its owners refused to pay an extortion amount to a political party.

Dubbed as Pakistan’s 9/11, the blaze at the Ali Enterprises factory, or Baldia Factory Fire, had killed 258 people in one of Pakistan’s worst industrial disasters.

More than 332 witnesses have recorded their statements so far. The prosecution had submitted a list of 720 witnesses in the case.


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