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September 15, 2018

18 witnesses record statements in Baldia factory fire case


September 15, 2018

As many as 18 prosecution witnesses recorded their statements before an anti-terrorism court (ATC) hearing the Baldia factory fire case on Friday.

The witnesses, mostly relatives of the more than 250 workers who perished in the 2012 fire, in their statements said that it was hard to identify the bodies of the deceased.

Most of the deceased persons were identified through DNA test reports of the bodies, the witnesses added. The court fixed September 24 as the next date of hearing to record the statements of other prosecution witnesses.

Abdul Rehman alias Rehman Bhola, Zubair Charia and others accused of the arson attack on the ill-fated factory, were produced in court by the police.

An application was moved on behalf of Abdul Sattar, who is also nominated in the case, seeking exemption from appearing in court. He requested the court not make him bound to appear at every hearing. The judge issued a notice to the Rangers’ prosecutor to argue the application.

The detained Rehman and Zubair, activists of the Muttahida Quami Movement, are being tried as the key accused in setting Ali Enterprises factory on fire with more than 200 workers inside. Rauf Siddiqui who is out on bail is also being tried in this case. Another MQM leader Hammad Siddiqui was also termed to be an accused as he is alleged to have demanded extortion from the factory owners and due to their failure to pay, he had allegedly ordered to burn the factory.

Meanwhile, the additional district and sessions judge (South) rejected the application of citizen Jawad Irani, who had requested the court to issue orders for the registration of a case against Sarmad Siddiqui as he (Siddiqui) was threatening him with dire consequences. Siddiqui is one of the accused of being involved in the terrorist attack on the Karachi Airport in 2014.

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