(Court): Baldia factory fire case: ATC awards death sentence to two, life imprisonment to four

Karachi:Eight years after the horrifying deadly incident that shocked whole the country, the anti-terrorism court (ATC) on Tuesday announced its verdict on Baldia factory fire, awarding death sentence to two accused Rehman alias Bhola and Zubair alias Charya and life imprisonment to three gatekeepers of the factory, Fazal Mehmood, Arshad Mehmood, and Ali Mohammad, and a manager, Shahrukh.

However, the court acquitted four other accused including Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) leader Rauf Siddiqui, Adeeb Khanum, Abdul Sattar and Ali Hassan Qadri over the lack of evidence against them. The court declared two other accused former in-charge of MQM’s Karachi Tanzeemi Committee Hammad Siddiqui and Ali Hassan Qadri as proclaimed offenders for their perpetual absence from the trial proceedings.

The police brought two accused persons including Rehman alias Bhola and Zubair alias Charya before the ATC while Rauf Siddiqui also arrived in the court. The police made strict security arrangements around the court building and closed the entry of unauthorized persons in the it.

Earlier, the court was expected to announce its verdict in the Baldia factory fire case on September 7, but it was postponed till September 22 (today) due to some reasons. On September 11, 2012, over 259 workers of factory, Ali Enterprises, were burnt alive in Karachi’s Baldia Town. The factory is located on Hub River Road and belongs to Abdul Aziz Bhalia and his two sons, Rashid Aziz and Shahid Aziz.

The factory owners had claimed that MQM leaders had warned of setting ablaze factory after they refused to pay Rs 25 crore ransom to MQM. Key accused of the case, Rehman Bhola, was brought from Bangkok with the help of Interpol. The accused had confessed to setting ablaze the factory.