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MQM’s Hammad Siddiqui Was Mastermind Of 2012 Baldia Factory Fire, JIT Finds

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A report of Joint Investigation Team (JIT) formed to investigate the 2012 Baldia factory fire has named Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) leader Hammad Siddiqui as the mastermind behind the deliberate inferno.

The fire that ‘broke out’ on 11th September 2012 at a garments factory in Baldia Town had resulted in the deaths of 289 people and injuries to more than 600 people.

In its report, the JIT has termed an incident of organised terrorism perpetrated by the two accused Hammad Siddiqui and Rahman Bhola against the factory owners for not paying an extortion money of nearly Rs 250 million, according to news reports.

The team had held six sessions at the factory, carefully examining the evidences and collecting the accounts of the eyewitnesses, including the employee.

Nullifying the previous investigations, it concluded that the fire did not take place by accident, saying it was an act of terrorism. It also said that the case was mishandled from the first day in a way that it only benefited those behind it. The police, it added, was under pressure and acted partially in the case.

In its report, the JIT recommended withdrawing the previous FIRs in the incident and recommended new ones under the terrorism provisions. It has also recommended including the names of Rehman Bhola, Hamad Siddiqui, Zubair Charia, Umar Hassan Qadari, Dr. Abdul Sattar, Ali Hassan Qadri, Iqbal Abid Khanum and four others in the new cases.

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