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Arrested suspect offers to become approver

Baldia Town factory fire

By our correspondents
March 14, 2015
ISLAMABAD: A hardened criminal arrested by the Rangers during a raid at the MQM headquarters — Nine Zero — has offered the law-enforcement agencies to become an approver in Baldia Town factor fire case, sources told The News on Friday.
Abdur Rehman alias Bhola was key accused in the Baldia Town factory fire which killed more than 250 people.According to the report compiled by the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) Bhola along with his unknown accomplices threw a chemical on the walls and gates that ignited a huge blaze at the factory.
The law enforcement agencies were tipped off about the presence of Bhola, Faisal Mehmood aka Mota and Ubaid K2 by another hardcore criminal Umair Siddique who was arrested in Karachi a few days back during a raid by the Rangers.
“Ubaid K2 and some other hardened criminals reached Karachi from South Africa four days before the raid at Nine Zero and law enforcement agencies are trying to find out as to why they came to Karachi at a time when an all-out operation was already being done against criminals and terrorists in the port city,” the sources said.
The JIT report also revealed that in charge of Karachi Tanzeemi Committee (KTC) Hammad Siddiqui had suspended sector in charge of Baldia Town Asghar Baig, replacing him with the joint sector in charge Abdur Rehman Bhola.
Asghar Baig and his brother raised protest with Hammad Siddiqui for demanding Rs200 million as Bhatta (extortion money) from the owners of Baldia Town factory, who according to them, were supporters of the MQM.
It was due to his alleged involvement in the tragic fire that the Interior Ministry placed Bhola’s name on the ECL among five others including Syed Javed Shakil, Mohammad Rizwan Qureshi, Hammad Siddiqui, Asghar Baig and Majid Baig.
Sources said 23 target killers arrested during five raids by the law enforcement agencies in different areas of Karachi on January 1, 15, 23, 28 and 8 helped identify the location of key persons involved in Baldia Town incident, target killing and Bhatta (extortion).
“Arrest of Mohammad Mansoor, allegedly involved in the murder of Karachi University Dean Dr. Shakeel Auj, on January 28 and Abdul Rafique alias Kaen from Mehmoodabad area of Jamshed Town on February 8 helped law-enforcement agencies get some vital information about the alleged presence of 48 persons at Nine Zero who were involved in various crimes,” the sources said.
When contacted, PPP Senator Saeed Ghani told The News that MQM and the Sindh government had agreed that Karachi should be cleared of criminals and terrorists.“It would be wrong to say that the MQM wants to protect some of its workers allegedly involved in target killing or Bhatta (extortion). But the MQM always demands justice and fair action and it is right of every political party,” he said.
Despite repeated attempts by this correspondent Rangers Spokesman Col Tahir was not available for comments.