Karachi (Staff Report/Agencies): An Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) on Thursday deferred the announcement of the reserved verdict in the Baldia factory fire case till September 22.
Accused Rauf Siddiqui, Rehman Bhola, Zubair Charya and others were presented before the court today amid strict security arrangements.
Ten accused — then-provincial minister for commerce and industries Rauf Siddiqui, MQM’s then Baldia Town sector in-charge Abdul Rehman alias Bhola, Zubair alias Charya, Hyderabad-based businessmen Dr Abdul Sattar Khan, Umar Hasan Qadri, Iqbal Adeeb Khanum and the ill-fated industrial unit’s four gatekeepers — Shahrukh, Fazal Ahmed, Arshad Mehmood and Ali Mohammad — were charged with setting ablaze the factory.
They allegedly acted on the instructions of the then chief of MQM’s Karachi Tanzeemi Committee, Hammad Siddiqui, over the non-payment of Rs250 million ‘protection money’ by the factory's owners.
Over 260 workers were burnt alive when the multi-storey Ali Enterprises garment factory was set on fire in Baldia Town on September 11, 2012.
In a separate case, the ATC had sentenced one of the Baldia factory fire accused, Jamaluddin, to seven years imprisonment in a case pertaining to possession of explosives.