Pakistan

KARACHI – In a spine chilling revelation, an accomplice of Rahman Bhola, a key suspect in the Baldia factory fire case, has admitted that the plan to set ablaze the Baldia town factory was made at the sector office of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM).

According to a report by Geo News, Ghulam Ali alias Goli testified in his statement that on the day of the incident on September 11, 2012, Kalo Dada had asked him by telephone to come to the ground.

He clarified that after planning the arson attack, he, along with Bhola and others, headed to the factory in a white car and on motorcycles.They closed the gates before setting the factory on fire with chemicals, leaving hundreds of factory workers trapped inside.

The suspect recalled that they later came to know that the fire had engulfed the entire building. He said the attackers had weapons on them.

As many as 259 workers, including women, perished in the deadly fire that raged throughout the night and into the following day.

On the other hand, key suspect Rahman, alias Bhola,  who was the MQM sector incharge in Baldia Town at the time of the incident, recorded his confessional statement under Section 164 of the Criminal Procedure Code before a judicial magistrate (West) on December 22.

He admitted that he, Zubair alias Charya (who also worked at the factory) and others, had set fire to the building.

The prime suspect said he was directed by the then head of the MQM Karachi Tanzeemi Committee, Hammad Siddiqui, to attack Ali Enterprises.

Following which, added Bhola, he, Charya and others had doused the factory with a chemical that caught fire and spread throughout the unit.

The suspect had told the JIT that Siddiqui had demanded Rs250 million in extortion and shares in the factory from the owners, but when the owners refused to comply and offered Rs10 million instead, a hit was ordered on the unit.

The court once again issued warrants for Siddiqui and adjourned the hearing until January 12. It also ordered arresting the accused through Interpol.

Interpol had nabbed Bhola on December 2 from a hotel Bangkok. A team of Pakistan’s Federal Investigation Agency brought him to Karachi on December 13.