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Baldia factory fire wanted frontman arrested in Bangkok

Bangkok Police on Saturday arrested Abdul Rehman, alias Bhola, the alleged frontman in the 2012 arson attack at Karachi’s Baldia garment factory, Thai daily the Bangkok Post reported.

Abdul Rehman was arrested in Room 405 of the Royal Garden Home hotel in Bangkok after commandos from the Crime Suppression Division (CSD) and Interpol officers conducted a raid.

“Thai Interpol tracked this suspect following an arrest warrant sought by the Pakistani authorities,” Major General Apichart Suriboonya told AFP.

“He will be repatriated as soon as Pakistan is ready,” he added.

Over 250 workers were burnt alive in country’s deadliest fire that engulfed a multi-storey garment factory in Baldia Town in September 2012.
Thai commandos take Pakistani Abdul Rehman into custody. Photo courtesy: Bangkok Post

Police had filed the supplementary charge sheet in August under the anti-terrorism law following a lengthy reinvestigation of the case.

According to the supplementary report, former chief of the MQM Karachi Tanzeemi Committee Hammad Siddiqui, his alleged front man and then Baldia Town sector in-charge Abdul Rehman, alias Bhola, and three to four unknown men were named as absconders in the case while around a dozen others were left out for lack of evidence and the owners of the ill-fated industrial unit were listed among the prosecution witnesses.

Initially, the police had charge-sheeted the owners and some employees of the factory in the tragic incident. However, the reinvestigation of the case was ordered in March last year through a joint investigation team after a JIT report submitted in the Sindh High Court in February 2015 revealed that the factory was set on fire after its owners failed to pay protection money.

The JIT had named Hammad, Abdul Rehman, Zubair, Ali Hasan, Umar Hasan, Abdul Sattar, Iqbal Adeeb Khanum and four unidentified persons as proposed accused in the report. However, police contended that incriminating evidence was available only against the two proposed accused.

Courtesy : Dawn News

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