Rizwan Qureshi, the suspect in the Baldia Fire case has mysteriously disappeared according to Pakistan Rangers, who revealed the fact in a meeting held yesterday to review the progress of their investigation.

In his disclosure to the joint investigation team (JIT) formed to look into the case, Rizwan revealed that the arson was in retaliation for non-payment of protection money to the tune of 200 million PKR.

The official statement made after the meeting hinted towards the dangers investigating officers of the case and their families were facing. There was also a mention of an “extortion group” which was threatening police officials and families of the victims.

“The meeting showed concern over some elements which are trying to influence the investigation into the Baldia Town tragedy. The meeting also discussed the threats from an extortion group to the IO [investigation officer] and affectees of the tragedy. The Rangers intelligence has traced the people and organisation which are behind these threats,” the statement said.

Earlier, the Joint Investigation Team reported that Rizwan was a Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) activist and his name was among six others who were placed on the Exit Control List.

The DG Rangers also directed that all suspects be arrested in the arson case from 2012 which led to the deaths of over 250 people.

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