KARACHI - The Joint Investigation Team (JIT) on Saturday gave clean chit to disgruntled MQM leader Anees Qaimkhani in Baldia factory fire case by excluding his name in the fresh investigation report presented in the court.

The fresh JIT report was presented by investigation officer Sajjad Saddozai in the court of Session Judge West wherein the incident has been declared a terror act and eight persons including Hammad Siddiqui have been nominated as accused.

Through this report the court has been requested that new FIR be registered on this incident and investigation be conducted.

The report said investigation of this incident had been completed. Baldia Town fire incident has been declared terror incident and eight persons including MQM leader Hammad Siddiqui, the then joint sector in-charge Rehman Bhola, Omar Hussain Qadri, Ali Hussain Qadri, Zubair Dahria, Dr Abdul Sattar and Iqbal Adeeb Khanum have been named as accused persons in the incident.

The report said previous JIT report should be abolished and cases be registered under the Terrorism Act in the light of new JIT report against the nominated accused.

It said the factory was torched for not paying extortion money of worth Rs200 million by the owners. Hammad Siddiqui had demanded extortion money from the owners of the factory through the then Orangi Town joint sector in-charge Rehman Bhola. The factory owners met the MQM leaders at the party headquarters Nine-Zero but the amount of extortion money was not reduced.

At the behest of MQM leader, the factory was set ablaze by throwing chemical. Some employees of the factory who had political affiliation were also involved in torching the factory. There were two eye witnesses of the incident as well.

The report said over Rs50 million were provided among the affectees of the incident as compensation. This amount was also devoured by the nominated accused and nothing was paid to the affectees.

The court was told that one Zubair alias Chirya, an accused in this case, was the resident of sector-11, North Karachi. He has fled to Saudi Arabia and his family members are not cooperating in providing any information about him.

The court has been requested through the JIT report that names of those nominated in the report be placed in the Exit Control List (ECL) and their red warrants be issued so that the accused could be got arrested through Interpol. The court inquired from the investigation officer where is the original report and it was told to the court that the original report was sent to the interior ministry for further action. As soon as the original report is received, it will be presented in the court.

The court reprimanded the police for not arresting the accused Mansoor Khan despite lapse of over one month. The court adjourned the hearing of the case till March 22. It ordered for arresting the absconders and present them before the court on next hearing.