KARACHI - Rangers personnel on Friday presented a report in the Sindh High Court which revealed that a political party was behind the deadly 2012 Baldia Town fire that took the lives of 258 factory workers.

The Joint Investigation Team has revealed in its report that the Baldia Town factory was set on fire for not paying extortion money. The report also said a suspect from the party had been arrested.

According to sources, Rangers have requested the Sindh High Court to forgo revealing other details of the report before the public due to its sensitivity.

The court ordered the Sindh government to compensate the 128 legal heirs of the deadly fire victims who have not been compensated yet and present a report to the court within a week. The hearing of the case was adjourned till next week.

Baldia factory fire, considered to be the country’s worst industrial incident, killed more than 250 people and injured many others on Sept 11, 2012.

The report says that the accused were released on bail with the help of a former prime minister. The JIT report has been made a part of the court record on Friday, reported a private news channel.

According to details, two separate reports were provided by the court observer and Rangers, before the division bench comprised Justice Maqbool Baqir and Justice Zafar Rajpoot that was hearing the Baldia Town incident case. Rangers’ law officer presented the report. The report was made a part of the court record. It reveals that the factory was torched for not paying the extortion money.

It says that a suspect namely Rizwan Qureshi was arrested and he had confessed that he, along with his aides, had demanded Rs200 million extortion but the factory administration had refused to pay. He confessed that he and his aides had set the factory on fire.

The report also revealed that that the arrested suspects got the bail but a provincial minister got their release orders cancelled. Later, the suspects got their bails approved from the Lahore High Court (LHC).

Rangers’ law officer maintained before the court that the police had concealed the facts in its report, by design. Court observer Zaheeruddin told in his report that compensation has been paid to 622 victims of the incident.

The court directed the High Court observer to present the report again after paying the victims as soon as possible. It also directed the trial court to complete the Baldia Town case hearing within one year.

All the accused in the case, including the factory owners, are on bail while the statements of the witnesses will be recorded now.