mumbai blasts 1993, bombay stock exchange building, dawood ibrahim, 12th march 1993, 25 Years Since Dawood Became the Face of Terrorism In India

25 Years Since Dawood Became the Face of Terrorism In India

25 years ago 12 blasts changed the way India perceived terrorism. 12th March 1993, Mumbai along with whole of India was devastated by 12 consecutive blasts that occured in various locations all over the city. Those blasts were the first of their kind in the world and are till date the deadliest of the attacks ever to occur on the civilian population of India. 257 were the reported casualties with more than 700 seriously injured. The compound used in the blasts was RDX which was smuggled into the city with the help of many insiders along with some police constables.

Dawood Ibrahim the notorious mastermind behind the attacks is still at large for the past 25 years. He is the leader of the Mumbai bases international organized crime syndicate called the D-Company. Yakub Memon and Tiger Memon were Dawood’s subordinates who planned and executed the bombings. Out of the trio only Yakub Memon was arrested and executed on 30th July, 2015, almost 22 years after the incident. His execution was highly publicized and controversial in its own sense. Interestingly, out of the 100 convicted, 44 were asked for a death penalty out of which only 12 were actually sentenced for the same. Amongst the 12, the only one to have been executed is Yakub Memon.

The Bombings

At 1:50 pm, 12th March 1993, a powerful car bomb went off in the basement of  the Bombay Stock Exchange building. The 28 story building was severly damaged and the explosion alone killed around 50 people while injuring many more. The surrounding buildings also received substantial damage. This was the first blast in the series of 12 blasts that occured one after the other. The other locations that met a similar fate were:

  1.  Fisherman’s Colony in Mahim causeway

  2.  Zaveri Bazaar

  3.  Plaza Cinema

  4. Century Bazaar

  5. Katha Bazaar

  6. Hotel Sea Rock

  7. Terminal at Sahar Airport (now Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport [CSIA])

  8. Air India Building

  9. Hotel Juhu Centaur

  10. Worli

  11. Bombay Stock Exchange Building

  12. Passport Office

  13. Masjid-Mandvi Corporation Bank Branch

Out of the above mentioned locations blasts did not occur at Fisherman’s Colony and Sahar Airport as a result of a car bomb but suffered damage through the grenades that were thrown in the two places. The whole city was on the brink of a communal backlash that could have resulted in further casualties. Sharad Pawar, the then Chief Minister of Maharashtra on 11th July, 2006 admitted to have lied about an additional blast having  occurred in Muslim dominated locality in order to present an image that people from both sides had suffered equally. He justified his lie by stating that whatever ws done had to be done in order to prevent any further clashes or casualties that had already occurred. He also admitted to have spoken about evidence being recovered against another outlaw organisation by the name of Tamil Tigers which waas later proven to have been a lie.

The Aftermath

100 out of the 129 accused were convicted in 2006 by Justice PD Kode out of which 12 were awarded a death penalty, 20 were given life imprisonments and others received variable punishments as per the graveness of their crimes. The blasts also had a negative impact on D-Company itself. Chota Rajan who was then said to be the right hand of Dawood was enraged by the blasts and separated from D-Company to form his own gang. Gang wars between the two gangs occurred all through the 90’s  between the two gangs resulting in the killing of 100’s of henchmen from both sides. While Dawood is still successful in eluding the authorities even after the US government recognised him as an international terrorist, Chota Rajan was captured in Indonesia on October 25th, 2015 and is currently lodged in the Tihar Jail awaiting sentence on more than 70 cases. Dawood himself is believed to be in Pakistan but the Pakistani authorities deny any such reports and terms them as mere allegations in order to tarnish the image of the country.  Another of Dawood’s close aid, Farooq Takla has recently been arrested on March 8th, 2018.

This has been the longest running terrorist case in independent India which still awaits closure. The reality of the situation is as grim as it was then on the unfortunate day. The Indian Judicial system has indeed come a long way since but is still a long way before the residents of India can truly be termed safe.

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