Baldia Town factory inferno: demolition of building begins

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Demolition of the factory building in Karachi’s Baldia Town has started, which was the location of an arson attack on September 11, 2012, that claimed 264 lives of factory workers.

The Sindh Building Control Authority had declared the factory building as dangerous after the fire incident and ordered its demolition.

An anti-terrorism court in Karachi had awarded death sentence to two MQM accused Abdul Rehman alias Bhola and Zubair aka Charya in Baldia factory fire case.

The anti-terrorism court, in its verdict, acquitted Muttahida Qaumi Movement- Pakistan (MQM-P) leader Rauf Siddiqui. The verdict was announced after eight years of the terrorism incident in 2020.

Three gatekeepers of the factory, Fazal Mehmood, Arshad Mehmood, Ali Mohammad, and manager Shahrukh were handed life imprisonment for abetment.

Former in-charge of MQM’s Karachi Tanzeemi Committee Hammad Siddiqui and Ali Hassan Qadri were declared proclaimed offenders.

The Joint Investigation Team (JIT) had earlier stated in its conclusive report that the Baldia Town factory inferno was ‘a terrorism act’.

The investigators had revealed in the 27-page report that the factory had been torched by assailants over non-payment of Rs200 million as extortion money.

The death sentence to two convicts yet to be implemented. Their appeals against conviction have been pending in the Sindh High Court.

The factory building was handed over to the owners. The families of the victims have lamented that the factory owners didn’t help them despite their promises.