New JIT report says Baldia factory fire ‘an act of terrorism’
July 6, 2020 12:17 AM
A joint investigation team (JIT) looking into the Baldia factory fire has said in its final report that it was an act of terrorism, not an accident.
At least 289 people were burnt alive in the garments factory fire in Karachi’s Baldia Town on September 11, 2012.
The latest JIT report, which was shared with some media outlets unofficially on Sunday, has been signed by officers of the law enforcement agencies who contributed to the investigation into the factory fire. The investigators revealed in the 27-page report the factory was set on fire by Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) members after the factory management refused to pay them Rs200 million extortion.
JIT findings show that Karachi police hid the names of those involved in the mass killing of innocent factory workers. The JIT investigators said in the report that key players involved in the factory fire should be brought back from abroad, their names should be put on the Exit Control List (ECL) and their passports should be seized.
The investigators also sought protection for the witnesses in the factory fire case. The report says Hammad Siddiqui and Rehman Bhola, who were members of the MQM at that time, were directly involved in the terrorist attack on the Baldia factory that was handled in an unprofessional manner. The JIT members found out that many elements attempted to influence the investigation into the incident internally and externally in order to protect those behind the carnage.
The report also says that a 1000-yard bungalow was purchased by the extortionists in Hyderabad using the extortion money before occurrence of the Baldia factory incident.
The report says the FIR into the terrorist attack on the garments factory was presented in a way that showed it as simple as a murder attempt. The report says that police failed to carry out the investigation in an impartial way due to pressure.
In its final report, the joint investigation team has said that a new FIR of the incident should be registered and names of the culprits like Rehman Bhola, Hammad Siddiqui, Zubair Chariya and others should be mention in this case.