An anti-terrorism court in Karachi has directed authorities to produce the final witness in the next hearing fixed on October 28 in connection with the Baldia Town factory fire case.

The ATC judge resumed the hearing of the case related to the blaze inside Baldia Town’s Ali Enterprises factory in Karachi. Jail officials have produced the prime suspects Rehman alias Bhola and Zubair alias Charya before the court.

Special Public Prosecutor Sajid Mehboob and the witness senior superintendent police (SSP) Sajid Sadozai have also appeared where the suspects’ lawyers completed cross-examination with them. According to the special prosecutor, a total of 768 witnesses exist, whereas, 399 testimonies were recorded in the case. 

Testimonies of all other witnesses in the case have since been completed.

Later, the ATC adjourned the hearing till October 28 after ordering the concerned authorities to produce the final witness in the factory blaze case.

The court had earlier ordered the police officer, Sajid Sadozai, on October 9 to appear in the October 17’s hearing to record his statement. Later, he had recorded his statement before the court yesterday.

In the previous hearing, Sadozai had confirmed the JIT report and said the factory was set on fire over denial of extortion money. He said the travel history of Hammad Siddiqui showed that he had travelled to Pakistan from Dubai in August 2012 and flown back in March 2013.

The eye witness claimed that early investigation was influenced by the MQM leaders and naming the factory owners in the case was also a result of that pressure.

The blaze at Ali Enterprises factory in Baldia Town of Karachi on September 11, 2012, had killed at least 258 people in one of Pakistan’s worst industrial disasters.

The case took a new turn in February 2015 when Pakistan Rangers, Sindh, submitted a joint investigation team (JIT) report in the Sindh High Court (SHC), which revealed that the factory was set on fire after its owners failed to pay extortion money.