Revisiting 12 March 1993 when 13 Serial Blast Thundered Mumbai

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12 March 1993:  Also known as the ‘Black Friday’ incident, the attacks are one of the bloodiest coordinated terror acts on Indian soil.

Revisiting 12 March 1993 when 13 Serial Blast Thundered Mumbai
Revisiting 12 March 1993 when 13 Serial Blast Thundered Mumbai

Thirteen serial bombs rocked Mumbai on this day in 1993, killing over 250 injuring at least 1400 people. Also known as the ‘Black Friday’ incident, the attacks are one of the bloodiest coordinated terror acts on Indian soil.

According to reports, the 1993 Mumbai bombings were also the country’s first attack in which RDX was used. Gangster Dawood Ibrahim Kaskar and his cronies, including Tiger Memon, planned and carried out the attack. The bombings were debatably retaliation for the riots that erupted in Mumbai in 1992 following the destruction of the Babri Masjid.

Even after 29th years of the deadly attack, its memories still haunt us. Here is how the attack unfolded:

  • The bombings lasted a two-hour and ten-minute period. According to sources, the blasts damaged property worth Rs 27 crore. 
  • At 1:30 p.m., the first explosion struck at the Bombay Stock Exchange’s basement. The bombings 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 the Passport Office then followed.
  • Using a timer, the explosives were set off within 15 to 30 minutes of one another, making it one of the most organised attacks of the period. 

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  • According to a News18 report, the initial goal was to detonate the devices on Shivaji Jayanti.
  • However, after one of Tiger Memon’s men, Gul Mohammad Sheikh aka Gullu, was arrested for rioting on March 9, and the plan got changed. According to News18, Gullu admitted to the plan to attack important landmarks in Mumbai, but cops did not take him seriously.
  • The explosives were placed in bags that were later abandoned in buildings, put in cars, strapped into scooters, and hidden in suitcases.
  • Within 48 hours of the bombings, Mumbai Police had cracked the case. Until then, some of the principal suspects had left the country, including Tiger Memon, his brother Yakub, and Dawaood Ibrahim’s brother Anees Ibrahim.
  • In 1994, Yakub Memon was apprehended. After many mercy petitions getting refused, he was put to death and executed in 2015.
  • According to the Hindustan Times, 35 persons are still wanted in the investigation, including Dawood Ibrahim and Tiger Memon.
  • In 2017, a special court found Abu Salem, Karimullah Shaikh, and four others guilty in the case.

12 March 1993 in Photos

Revisiting 12 March 1993 when 13 Serial Blast Thundered Mumbai
Scenes from the Bombay riots. (Photo courtesy: Kractivist’s Blog)
Revisiting 12 March 1993 when 13 Serial Blast Thundered Mumbai
The serial blasts killed 257 people and wounded 1,400 people

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Revisiting 12 March 1993 when 13 Serial Blast Thundered Mumbai
The bombings in March 1993 targeted a dozen locations, including the Bombay Stock Exchange, Air India’s offices, and a high-end hotel.
Revisiting 12 March 1993 when 13 Serial Blast Thundered Mumbai
Scenes from Black Friday, 12 March 1993. (Photo courtesy: Twitter/Yogesh Singh)
Revisiting 12 March 1993 when 13 Serial Blast Thundered Mumbai
Policemen drag the body of a victim during the Bombay riots. (Photo courtesy: Naukrinama.com
Revisiting 12 March 1993 when 13 Serial Blast Thundered Mumbai
Damaged vehicles on the road on 12 March 1993.
(Photo Courtesy: Twitter/Sks Thou)
Revisiting 12 March 1993 when 13 Serial Blast Thundered Mumbai
Paramilitary officers search for survivors at the BSE building after the first blast. (Photo: AP)
Revisiting 12 March 1993 when 13 Serial Blast Thundered Mumbai
Fire rages on at Century Bazaar, Worli. (Photo courtesy: metrognome.com)

12 March 1993: Men Who Painted the Friday as Black

  • Shoaib Ghansar, was found guilty of packing RDX bomb in a scooter and planting it at Zaveri Bazaar, killing 17 people and injuring 57 others. On July 19, 2007, he was sentenced to death.
  • Asghar Mukadam and Shahnawaz Qureshi placed an RDX-laden vehicl,i n Plaza Cinema, killing ten people and injuring 37 others. Qureshi received weapons training and loaded contraband while Mukadam placed RDX into cars and distributed money to conspirators. On July 19, 2007, they were both sentenced to death.
  • Abdul Ghani Turk was convicted guilty of putting RDX in a vehicle and placing it at Century Bazaar, killing 113 people and wounding 227 others. On July 18, 2007, he was sentenced to death.
  • Parvez Shaikh was found guilty of detonating a bomb at Katha Bazaar, killing four people, and putting a bomb in Hotel Sea Rock, destroying property worth 9 crores rupees. On July 18, 2007, he was sentenced to death.
  • Mohammed Iqbal found guilty of hurling hand grenades at Sahara International Airport, dumping an unexploded RDX-laden scooter in Naigaon, and putting RDX into cars. On July 20, 2007, he was sentenced to death.
  • Naseem Barmare was convicted of throwing hand grenades at Sahara airport, parking an unexploded scooter in Naigaum, weapons training, conspiracy, and bomb manufacturing. He was given a life sentence and a fine of 230,000 rupees.
  • Mushtaq Tarani attended a conference at the Taj Mahal hotel and conducted a reconnaissance of the bombing locations. He put a bomb at the Hotel Juhu Centaur, wounding three people and caused property damage of Rs. 2.10 crore, as well as parked an unexploded scooter on Sheikh Memen Street in Zaveri Bazaar. On July 18, 2007, he was sentenced to death.
  • Imtiaz Ghavate placed an RDX-laden scooter on Dhanji Street in South Mumbai, landed explosives, guns, and ammo, and was present when bombs were being prepared. He was condemned to life in prison and fined ₹ 227,000 for his crimes.

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