An important statement was recorded by an eyewitness in the Baldia factory fire case on Saturday.
An anti-terrorism court heard the case in Karachi on Saturday.
A research officer of the Punjab forensic department told the court that no evidence was found of the fire being set off due to a short-circuit.
He said the fire was ignited at the ground and second floors from chemical and not because of a short-circuit.
The court has summoned more witnesses and scheduled a hearing on May 14.
At a hearing last month, an eye witness had said that the Muttahida Qaumi Movement’s workers and leaders set the Baldia Town factory on fire after they were denied payment of extortion money.
The statement by the factory’s production in-charge, who is a witness in the case, marked significant progress in one of the most tragic cases in Karachi’s history.
The factory owners told me that the MQM people demanded extortion money worth Rs250 million, he said in his statement.
“They asked Zubair Charya to take Rs10 million. But, he replied he won’t accept bhatta [extortion] below Rs200 million,” the factory’s production in-charge said. “Zubair Charya said you will have to face serious consequences in case you fail to pay extortion”
The matter relating to the extortion of money was not settled, therefore the MQM suspects set the factory on fire, he said.