Thursday September 23, 2021

February 7, 2015

Baldia factory door was shut from outside: Rauf Siddiqi

KARACHI: Former provincial minister Rauf Siddiqi says that exit door had been shut from the outside when the Baldia Town factory burnt down in 2012, claiming the lives of over 250 employees.

According to a Joint Investigation Report (JIT), the factory fire – dubbed the worst fire incident in Pakistan's history – was the result of the owners not paying extortion demanded by a certain political faction.

Then-provincial minister Siddiqi says that there was no negligence on the part of any institution or department in the incident.

Speaking to Geo News on Saturday, he said that he had reached the location as soon as he heard news of the fire.

“I got the FIR of the incident registered with the police and ordered immediate investigation,” he said.

“The doors of the factory were shut from the outside,” he added.

Siddiqi said that he had tendered his resignation following the tragic incident to ensure that families of the victims received their rightful compensation.

"On the third day when I saw that these poor families might not even get compensation, i resigned in protest so that they may get what is their right," said Siddiqi.

The former minister said that there were no reports of extortion from the area where the incident happened.

According to the JIT report, Rangers recently arrested a prime suspect who confessed to setting the factory on fire intentionally along with a group of miscreants.

A two-member bench headed by Chief Justice Maqbool Baqar of the Sindh High Court heard the case on Friday.

According to the Rangers Law Officer, further interrogations are being carried out with the prime suspect in custody.

The case has been adjourned for one week.