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Baldia factory fire: Rehman Bhola backtracks on confessional statement once again.

KARACHI -- For the second time in the year, key suspect behind Baldia factory incident, Rehman Bhola, has backtracked from his confessional statement.

Bhola said he neither set the factory ablaze not did he record any confessional statement on his own. According to a petition filed in the court, the suspect has said the confessional statement he recorded earlier was made under duress.

In January Bhola backtracked on his confessional statement, saying he was put under pressure by a video made of his son. He had said he neither demanded extortion money from the factory owners nor set it on fire upon Hammad Siddiqui's directives.

Hammad is another suspect in the conflagration incident. In December 2016, Bhola had said Rauf Siddiqui and Hammad took Rs50 million from the owners of the factory.

In September 2012, over 250 factory workers perished in the chemical factory fire. The incident was brushed off as having occurred owing to a short circuit but was later declared a case of arson - the factory was set ablaze owing to non-payment of protection money.

A joint investigation team probing the matter put the blame on some MQM members and activists including Hammad and Rehman. The party has repeatedly denied the allegations.

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Publication:Regional Times (Karachi, Pakistan)
Date:Dec 31, 2017
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