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FIA arrests Baldia factory fire suspect at airport

Abdul Rehman was trying to escape to Dubai

By our correspondents
April 04, 2015
The Federal Investigation Agency arrested a Baldia Factory fire suspect at the Karachi airport on Friday.
Asim Qaimkhani, the FIA immigrations deputy director at the Jinnah Terminal, said when a passenger, Abdul Rehman, son of Abdul Sattar, who was intending to leave for Dubai via an Etihad Airways flight, reached the immigration counter, the staff stopped him suspecting that he was on the exit-control list.
After further investigation, it was found that his particulars were similar to a person wanted by police in the Baldia factory fire case.
The team probing the Baldia factory fire case reached there and took him into custody to ascertain if he was the same person or not.
The Preedy police had arrested three suspects, including Shakeel alias Chota, allegedly involved in setting fire to a factory in Baldia Town in which over 250 people were killed.
They were arrested in a raid conducted in an area located behind the Rainbow Centre in Saddar after a shootout. The arrested men were found in possession of a sub-machine gun. It was later found that they were affiliated with a political party.
The investigation officer of the case said Shakeel had confessed to his involvement in the Baldia factory fire.
Shakeel told the investigators that he and his five accomplices including Shahid alias Pasha had rented a hi-roof van for carrying the petrol cans used for setting fire to the factory.
Three of them entered the factory and others remained outside while committing the crime.

Four more remanded
Four Muttahida Qaumi Movement workers said to be involved in the Baldia factory fire tragedy were moved to the Karachi Central Jail on Friday after an anti-terrorism court awarded authorities a 14-day judicial remand in an illegal weapons case.
Shakeel alias Chota, Abdul Majeed, Shehzad and Farooq were produced in the court for a hearing on charges related to illegal arms.
Shakeel, who as per police officials was arrested within the Preedy police limits on March 22, has confessed to their role in the factory fire that claimed around 250 innocent lives.
As per Shakeel’s version, the four had driven to the factory in a pick-up vehicle with a container of chemicals, tied up the guard and set a fire near the main power generator. Initially, police officials had claimed a total of six men were involved in the incident but investigators shot down the claims.
MQM worker’s JIT report
Kamran alias Munna, an MQM activist who has confessed to 14 murders, was remanded in police custody till April 4 after an ATC received a report from the Joint Interrogation Team (JIT).
As per the report, Kamran has admitted to killing 14 people on the behest of a party office-bearer, Abid alias Chairman. His victims included members of religious groups and Lyari gangsters.
The report further states that Kamran was involved in several extortion cases involving shopkeepers, traders and goods transporters of Lyari. Moreover, it reads that a bulletproof jacket and a bomb were also recovered from a location identified by the accused.