The Karachi Baldia Town factory inferno case has taken a new turn after it transpired that a senior police official covered up the final Joint Investigation Team (JIT) report despite having received it in June 2013.
Reliable sources told Online that Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Nasir Aftab received the final JIT report of the factory fire in June 2013, but he deliberately concealed it from police high-ups, thus providing an easy escape for the suspects behind the episode.
Officials of Sindh Police, Inter Services Intelligence (ISI), Intelligence Bureau (IB), Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and Rangers had compiled the JIT report before submitting it to SSP Aftab.
Police sources said that had the JIT report been forwarded to the police high-ups on time, the main suspects behind the heinous crime could have been apprehended before they were produced before a court with the JIT report.
The episode behind the devastating fire of September 11, 2012, in which more than 259 workers and labourers lost their lives after saboteurs put the factory on fire after locking all its gates, came to the limelight only after the Rangers submitted the same JIT report in the court recently.
Rizwan Qureshi, who was arrested by the Preddy police in 2013, also confessed during investigation, to have his involvement in the Baldia Town inferno. The suspect also confessed that he was affiliated with the MQM, but the Muttahida disowned him.
When contacted, Additional IG Sindh Gulam Qadir Thebo confirmed that he has asked DIG Sultan Khawaja to investigate the matter. He said that the investigation report against the SSP would be made public soon.
The sources, meanwhile, said that though names of the suspects behind the factory fire have been put in the exit control list (ECL), they may have escaped after SSP Aftab failed to forward the JIT report, which carries their names, to the police high-ups.
The police sources said that proof of SSP Aftab’s alleged suspicious activities favouring suspects have also existed in the police record and he may also be investigated for his alleged links with the criminals.