Black Friday – What exactly happened on March 12,1993 at Mumbai

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On March 12, 1993, a series of bomb explosions ruptured the arteries of Mumbai and brought the city to its knees, which resulted in death of 257 persons, injuries of various types to 713 persons and destruction of properties worth more than Rupees 27 crores. The explosions were caused at vital Govt. installations, public premises and crowded places with intention to overawe the Government established by law and to cause terror among public at large. The first car bomb exploded in the basement of the 28-storey Bombay Stock Exchange building at 1.30 pm, killing 50 on the spot.  The 13 bombs which exploded in quick succession brought the city’s most iconic buildings to their knees, beginning with the symbol of its financial supremacy, the Bombay Stock Exchange. The attacks were coordinated by Dawood Ibrahim, don of the Bombay-based international organized crime syndicate named D Company. Dawood was assisted in this act by Tiger Memon, one of his most trusted associates who is also believed to be hiding somewhere in Pakistan. The bombings were financed by expatriate Indian smugglers based out of the UAE. The Indian authorities have also pointed at the active involvement of the Pakistani intelligence agency, Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), in the blasts. Several terrorists received their arms, ammunition and explosives training in Pakistan. Nearly all were recruited from Dubai or went to Pakistan via Dubai. Yakub Memon, a chartered accountant by profession , younger brother of prime absconding accused Tiger Memon,denied before the bomb blasts trial court that he was involved in any manner in the conspiracy of planning the blasts which rocked the metropolis on March 12, 1993. Yakub, Death sentence awarded to Yakub by TADA Judge P D Kode. 11 others also got capital punishment. Yakub was found guilty of Conspiracy (IPC section 120-B) for causing terror acts under TADA, arranged tickets for accused to go to Pakistan for arms training and brought vehicles used for planting bombs used in the serial explosions. Yet, despite being the site in which the technique of serial attack was pioneered, the Bombay blasts have remained a buried and underground episode not only in the history of the city but also in the contemporary, global history of terror. Despite the enormity of the destruction unleashed by those serial bomb blasts of 1993, the comprehensive geographic reach of the bombs across the city, and the number of people killed, injured, and missing, the blasts of Black Friday continue to have a shadowy, mysterious presence in the life of the city. The Bombay Stock Exchange, the offices of Air India and a luxury hotel were among about a dozen targets of the March 1993 blasts, which killed 257 people in the deadliest attacks ever to hit India. The lone death convict in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case, Yakub Memon, was executed in the Nagpur Central jail in the western state of Maharashtra.

Dawood Ibrahim (born Sheikh Dawood Ibrahim Kaskar; December 27, 1956), also known as Dawood Ebrahim, and Sheikh Dawood Hassan, is the head of the organized crime syndicate D-Company in Mumbai. He is currently on the wanted list of Interpol for organised crime and counterfeiting. Dawood Ibrahim is accused of heading a vast and sprawling illegal empire. After the 1993 Bombay bombings, which Ibrahim allegedly organized and financed, he became India’s most wanted man. According to the United States, Ibrahim maintains close links with al-Qaida’s Osama bin Laden. As a consequence, the United States declared Dawood Ibrahim a “global terrorist” in 2003 and pursued the matter before the United Nations in an attempt to freeze his assets around the world and crack down on his operations. The Bush administration has since imposed several sanctions on Ibrahim and his associates. Indian and Russian intelligence agencies have pointed out Ibrahim’s possible involvement in several other terror attacks, including the November 2008 Mumbai attacks.

Yakub Memon, the third of six children of Abdul Razak and Hanifa Memon, grew up in Byculla and went to Antonio D’Souza School. He scored 70 per cent in his secondary Board exams and, unlike his brothers Sulaiman and Ibrahim (or Tiger), carried on with his studies. He got a Masters in Commerce from Burhani College and, in 1990, became a certified chartered accountant. With his childhood friend Chaitanya Mehta, Memon set up the firm Mehta and Memon Associates. The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) alleges that Yakub managed Rs 21.90 lakhs for the operation, arranged air tickets and boarding for 15 people to be sent to Pakistan for training, purchased vehicles to be planted as bombs and requested a person who is now a discharged co-accused, to store boxes of ammunition smuggled into India by Tiger Memon.

Source: Black Friday “Bloody pages of Indian history” – what exactly happened on March 12,1993

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