On 12 March 1993, 12 serial blasts rocked Mumbai, killing over 250 people and injuring over 700 others. Also known as the ‘Black Friday’ attack, the bombings remain one of the deadliest coordinated terror attacks to take place on Indian soil.
The 1993 Mumbai bombings also marked the first use of RDX in the country, according to reports. The attack was planned and carried out by gangster Dawood Ibrahim Kaskar and his henchmen, including Tiger Memon. The attacks were revenge for the 1992 riots that took place in Mumbai after the demolition of Babri Masjid.
On the 29th anniversary of the serial bombings, here is all you need to know about the 1993 Mumbai blasts:
• The bombings took place over a duration of 2 hours and 10 minutes.
• Property worth Rs 27 crore was damaged in the blasts, as per reports.
• The first blast occurred at the basement of the Bombay Stock Exchange at 1:30 pm. This was followed by blasts in Katha Bazaar, Shiv Sena Bhavan in Dadar, Air India Building, Fisherman’s Colony in Mahim causeway, Century Bazaar, Zaveri Bazaar, Hotel Sea Rock, Plaza Cinema, Hotel Juhu Centaur and Passport office.
• The bombs were activated within 15 to 30 minutes of one another using a timer, making them one of the biggest coordinated attacks of the time.
• The explosives were buried in cavities created in cars, strapped into scooters, and hidden in suitcases, which were then abandoned in buildings.
• According to a News18 report, the original plan was to set off the bombs on the occasion of Shivaji Jayanti.
• However, the plan was later modified after one of Tiger Memon’s henchmen, Gul Mohammad Sheikh alias Gullu, was picked by police for rioting on 9 March. Gullu confessed about the plan to bomb major locations in Mumbai, but was not taken seriously by cops, according to News18. However, the incident prompted the conspiracy to be moved forward to 12 March.
• Mumbai Police cracked the case within 48 hours after the blast. Several of the main accused, including Tiger Memon, his brother Yakub and Dawaood Ibrahim’s brother Anees Ibrahim, had fled the country till then.
• Yakub Memon was later arrested in 1994. He was sentenced to death and was executed in 2015 after several mercy petitions filed by him were rejected.
• According to a Hindustan Times report, 35 people, including Dawood Ibrahim and Tiger Memon are still wanted in the case.
• Abu Salem, Karimullah Shaikh and four other people were convicted in the case by a special court in 2017.