KARACHI: On four anniversary of the tragic Baldia factory Fire incident – that took 258 lives besides bringing financial murders to their families – an Anti Terrorism Court on Monday adjourned the hearing of case until September 25 and announced that the accused will be indicted on next hearing.
On outset of the proceeding, Police produced Abdul Rehman alias Bhola, Zubair alias Charya and other accused before the court. The ATC expressed displeasure over the absence of two accused, Umar Hassan Qadri and Ali Hassan Qadri.
The court also sought arguments on Rehman’s bail plea during the next hearing, while the factory owners, Abdul Aziz Bhaila and others, filed a plea seeking the return of money deposited as surety bond.
The ATC also reserved its verdict on the acquittal of two factory employees, Shahrukh and Ali Ahmed.
Five years have passed but relatives of the victims still await justice as the central characters behind the arson attack still remain at large.
The blaze erupted at Ali Enterprises on September 11, 2012, a case was registered a day after, declaring it a mishap.
However, the case took a new turn when a political party worker, Rizwan Qureshi, revealed before a joint investigation team (JIT) that the fire did not break out accidently, but was deliberately started by workers of a political party.
The revelation shook the Sindh government and it ordered re-investigation into the case on March 26, 2015.
A JIT was constituted to probe the incident, which recorded statements of 58 witnesses, including owners of the enterprise.
Subsequent investigations revealed that the factory was deliberately set ablaze over non-payment of protection money. A political party had demanded Rs250 million protection money from owners of Ali Enterprises, the JIT report stated.
Meanwhile, a candlelight vigil was organized outside Karachi Press Club on Monday evening in remembrance of the workers of Ali Enterprises, who lost their lives in the worst- ever industrial accident in Baldia SITE area on September 11, 2912.
Citizens, trade unions and rights activists attended the vigil in a large number.
The participants were carrying banners and placards demanding provision of occupational health and safety facilities in factories and arrest of the culprits.
Over 250 workers including female workers had lost their lives in the worst ever industrial accident in Ali Enterprises garments manufacturing factories. The company was producing garments products for a Germany buyer KIK Textilien. The German company has provided US $ 1 million has immediate compensation and $ 5.15 million as long term compensation to the victims families.
Besides this, the Sindh government has also provided compensation to each family.