Sindh government has appointed a fresh public prosecutor in Baldia Town factory fire case while the hearing was adjourned until April 9, according to reports on Tuesday.
The factory fire case was heard by judicial magistrate south. Investigative officer Inspector Jahanzaib did not appear before the court despite court s order.
On the other hand, senior lawyer Khalid Mehboob has been appointed new public prosecutor by the government. Few months earlier, former prosecutor Shazia Hunjra had refused to comply.
A garments factory in Baldia Town had caught fire on September 11, 2012, claiming around 259 lives while at least 600 were injured. Rangers had claimed that Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) was behind the incident.
A report presented in the Sindh High Court (SHC) claimed that a high official of the party had demanded extortion money from the owners of the factory.
Joint Investigation Team’s (JIT) report stated that Rs 20 crore was demanded from the owners while Rehman Bhola, Hammad Siddique and Zubair among eight were involved in setting the factory on fire.
The JIT members had demanded inclusion of anti-terror acts in the case. The JIT also proposed to nullify passports of the fugitives and to put them on Exit Control List (ECL).
Earlier in March, one of the accused, Muttahida Qaumi Movement’s (MQM) former member Anees Qaimkhani returned to Pakistan. However, a report that was filed after his return did not bear his name as a suspect in the case.
Investigation officer had requested the court to register a new case in light of the fresh JIT report however the court summoned the previous report on the matter.
The court was told that the last report of the JIT was with the Home Department and authorities were waiting for Home Department’s instructions over registration of a new case.
Federation had powered Rangers with exclusive authority in Karachi in September 2013. MQM has alleged the paramilitary troops of partiality in trials and arrests. The party leaders have alleged Rangers numerous times of killing innocent workers in false cases.
The party has maintained its stance in Baldia factory case as well claiming innocence. Members of the party continue to denounce extortion accusations.