KARACHI - The owners of the garment factory, in which over 250 people lost their lives, have expressed dissatisfaction over the probe into fire by police, FIA and other government institutions and alleged that instead of probing the incident, the police forced them to stand before the investigation team the whole day.
The counsel for the factory owners stated this before the inquiry tribunal headed by Justice (r) Zahid Qurban Alvi here on Saturday. The tribunal was appointed by the Sindh government to investigate the fire incident that broke out in a garment factory in the Baldia Town area of Karachi, killing over 250 people, which will submit its findings within two weeks to the government.
Advocate Amir Mansoob Qureshi, the lawyer of owners of factory Rashid and Aziz Bhaila appeared before the tribunal and informed that his clients were in Islamabad, so they could not able to come and record their statement before the tribunal. On behalf of factory owners, their lawyer told the tribunal that the police and other government organisations were treating them as ‘criminals’.
The counsel of the factory owners further told the inquiry tribunal that the police and other teams of government instead of probing into cause of fire ask them to stand in front of investigation committee the whole day.
On behalf of factory owners, their counsel made offer that if government has not sufficient number of forensic experts to ascertain the cause of fire in factory, they are ready to invite foreign forensic experts from abroad on their expenses.
He further said that the owners of the factory were present in factory during the fire incident and will respond each and every question about the fire incident before the tribunal. He told the tribunal that fire occurred on first floor but it was strange that without touching middle floor it reached upper floor.
During the proceedings, the counsel of the factory owners urged the tribunal for handing over copies of the statements recorded by the witnesses and others regarding fire incident and assured that his clients will appear before the tribunal on Monday. The tribunal put the application of the counsel and directed the factory owners to appear before the tribunal Monday to record their statement.
However, the tribunal waited for whole day but the police did not present the eyewitnesses of the fire incident. Meanwhile, Justice (r) Zahid Qurban Alvi, head of the inquiry tribunal into factory fire incident, during the proceedings in his remarks said that the after the contacts and corresponding between government and industrialists, suggestion to setup an independent and autonomous commission for inspection of factories was under consideration.