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1993 Bombay bombings

1993 Bombay bombings

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1993 Bombay Bombings
Location Bombay, India
Date March 12, 1993
13:30-15:40 (UTC+ 5.5)
Attack type 13 car bombs (RDX) containing shrapnel.
Deaths 257
Injured 713
Perpetrator(s) Underworld criminal groups (D-Company)

The 1993 Bombay bombings were a series of thirteen bomb explosions that took place in Bombay (now Mumbai), India on March 12, 1993. The coordinated attacks were the most destructive bomb explosions in Indian history. The single-day attacks resulted in up to 250 civilian fatalities and 700 injuries. The attacks are believed to have been coordinated by Dawood Ibrahim, don of the organized crime syndicate named D-Company, which had operated as a terrorist organization. It is believed that the attacks were carried out in retaliation for widespread massacre of Muslims in Mumbai during December and January , and also the demolition of the Babri Masjid.





In December 1992 and January 1993, there was widespread rioting in Bombay following the December 6 destruction of the Babri Mosque in Ayodhya by extreme Hindu groups. Although there was no loss of life in the incident at the Babri Mosque, a series of riots soon erupted throughout the nation, most notably in Bombay. After five years following the December-January riots, the Srikrishna Commission Report stated that nine hundred individuals lost their lives and over two thousand were injured, most of them Muslim, in the riots.

The bombings

At 1:30 p.m. a powerful car bomb exploded in the basement of the Bombay Stock Exchange building. The 28-story office building housing the exchange was severely damaged, and many nearby office buildings also suffered some damage. About 50 were killed by this explosion. About 30 minutes later, another car bomb exploded elsewhere in the city, and from 1:30 p.m. to 3:40 p.m. a total of 13 bombs exploded throughout Bombay. Most of the bombs were car bombs, but some were in scooters.

Three hotels, the Hotel Sea Rock, Hotel Juhu Centaur, and Hotel Airport Centaur, were targeted by suitcase bombs left in rooms booked by the perpetrators. Banks, the regional passport office, hotels, the Air India Building, and a major shopping complex were also hit. Bombs exploded at Zaveri Bazaar, area opposite of Century Bazaar, Katha Bazaar, Shiv Sena Bhawan, and Plaza Theatre. A jeep-bomb at the Century Bazaar exploded early, thwarting another attack. Grenades were also thrown at Sahar International Airport and at Fishermen’s Colony, apparently targeting Hindus at the latter. A double decker bus was very badly damaged in one of the explosions and that single incident accounted for the greatest loss of life – perhaps up to ninety people were killed.

Buildings attacked include

  • Bombay Stock Exchange Building
  • Hotel Sea Rock
  • Hotel Centaur, Juhu
  • Hotel Centaur, Santa Cruz
  • Plaza Cinema
  • Shiv Sena Bhawan
  • Zaveri Bazaar
  • Area opposite of Century Bazaar
  • Passport Office
  • Air India Building
  • Sahar Airport
  • Plaza Theatre, Dadar


The official number of dead was 257 with 1,400 others injured (some news sources say 317 people died; this is due to a bomb which killed 60 in Calcutta on March 17). Several days later, unexploded car bombs were discovered at a railway station. Islamic terrorist groups based in Pakistan were suspected to be responsible for these bombings, and evidence uncovered pointed to the involvement of underworld don Dawood Ibrahim.

On August 25, 2003, two large and destructive bombs left in taxis exploded in south Mumbai – the Gateway of India and Zaveri Bazaar in the busy Kalbadevi area – killing 52 people, again entirely Hindus and wounding more than a hundred others. Two Islamic militant groups, Jaish-e-Mohammed and Lashkar-e-Toiba, were found to be responsible for the attacks. Along with the July 2006 train bombings in Mumbai, these attacks are believed to be in retaliation for the 2002 Gujarat riots in which more than a thousand persons, mostly Muslims were killed, though the Gujarat government denies such a connection.

On August 11, 2006, the former Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Sharad Pawar, admitted, on record, that he had “deliberately misled” people following the 1993 Bombay blasts by saying there were “12 and not 11” explosions, adding the name of a Muslim-dominated locality to show that people from both communities had been affected. He tried to justify this deception by claiming that it was a move to prevent communal riots by falsely portraying that both Hindu and Muslim communities in the city had been affected adversely. He also admits to lying about evidence recovered and misleading people into believing that some of it pointed to the Tamil Tigers as possible suspects.

Arrests, convictions and verdict

Many hundreds of people were arrested and detained in Indian courts. In 2006, 100 of the 129 finally accused were found to be guilty and were convicted by the specially designated TADA court. Many of the 100 are still missing including the main conspirators and masterminds of the attacks – Tiger Memon and Dawood Ibrahim. On September 12, 2006, the special TADA court hearing the case convicted four members of the Memon family for their involvement in the 1993 Bombay bombings.

Three other members of the Memon family were acquitted by the special TADA court with the judge giving them the benefit of doubt. The four members of the Memon family are being held after being found guilty on charges of conspiring and abetting acts of terror. All four of them face jail terms from five years in prison to life imprisonment, that will be determined based on the severity of their crime. A day later, the TADA court announced that it would start pronouncing the verdict of the thirty-one people charged with transporting and planting bombs.

Yakub Memon, the brother of prime accused Tiger Memon, was charged for possession of unauthorised arms. After the blasts, family members of Tiger, including Yakub, escaped from Bombay to Dubai and Pakistan. Correspondents say Tiger Memon owned a restaurant in Bombay and was allegedly closely associated with Dawood Ibrahim, the chief suspect.

Except for Tiger and his brother Ayub, the entire family returned back to India and were prompty arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation in 1994. Since then, Yakub has been in custody and is undergoing treatment for depression. The Memon family was subsequently tried in court and found guilty of conspiracy. The defense lawyers have asked for leniency in the sentencing and have caused delays in the process.

Dawood Ibrahim, believed to have masterminded the terrorist attacks, was the former Don of the Mumbai organized crime syndicate D-Company, largely consisting of Muslims. He is suspected of having connections to several Islamic terrorist groups, such as al-Qaeda and its leader, Osama bin Laden, as well as Lashkar-e-Toiba and was declared a terrorist by the governments of India and the United States in 2003. Ibrahim is now wanted by Interpol as a part of the worldwide terror syndicate of Osama bin Laden. He has been in hiding since the blasts and is believed to be hiding in Pakistan, which the Pakistani government denies. The Bush administration in the United States imposed sanctions on Ibrahim in 2006.

The penalty stage of the longest running trial in India’s history is still ongoing. In February 2007, prosecutors asked for the death penalty for forty-four of the hundred convicted. The prosecution also requested the death penalty for those convicted of conspiracy in the case.

The Memons

Yakub Memon has spent approximately 15+ years in prison. He was sentenced to death by hanging by the Judge, Ashish Roy Pillai.

  • Convicted for conspiracy.
  • Arranging finance and managing its disbursement through co-accused, Mulchand Shah and from a firm, Tejarath International, owned by absconding accused, and brother, Ayub Memon to achieve objectives of conspiracy.
  • Arranged for air tickets through Altafali Mushtaqali Sayyed, East West travels for the youths who were sent for arms and ammunition training to Pakistan. Also made arrangements for their lodging and boarding.
  • Purchased motor vehicles which were used while planting bombs.
  • Requested co-accused, Amjadali Meherbux and Altafali Sayyed, to store suitcases containing arms, ammunition, hand grenades and detonators.

Essa and Yusuf Memon, brothers of Yakub

  • Both charged for allowing their flat in Al-Hussaini building, Mahim to be used for terrorist activities.
  • Essa has already spent about 12 years in prison.
  • Yusuf is a schizophrenia patient, but has spent less than a year in prison.
  • For both Essa and Yusuf, the prosecution sought the death sentence.
  • Rubeena her Maruti car was the first piece of evidence in the trial. The prosecution has sought a lesser sentence for her.

The Planters

Prosecution has sought the death sentence for all except Imtiaz Ghavate as he suffers from AIDS. The prosecution has sought a lesser sentence for him.

Shoiab Ghansar planted an RDX-laden scooter in Zaveri Bazaar that killed 17 and injured 57 others

  • He was also guilty of filling RDX in the scooter the previous night at Al-Hussaini building that killed 17 people and injured 57. He is Asghar Mukadam’s cousin.
  • He was sentenced to death by the court on the counts of murder and participating in terrorist act on July 19, 2007
Asghar Mukadam planted an RDX-laden van in Plaza Cinema with Shahnawaz Qureshi that killed 10 and injured 37 others

  • Participated in the loading of RDX in vehicles, on March 11
  • Collected money from Mulchand Shah and facilitating disbursement of money to other accused
  • Sentenced to death on July 19, 2007.
Shahnawaz Qureshi planted an RDX-laden van at Plaza Cinema with Asghar Mukadam, killing 10 and injuring 37others

  • Guilty of taking arms training in Pakistan via Dubai and of loading the contraband in Al-Hussaini building on March 11, 1993.
  • Sentenced to death on July 19, 2007.
Abdul Gani Turk guilty of parking RDX-laden jeep at Century Bazaar killing 113 and injuring 227

  • Filling RDX in vehicles killing 113 and injuring 227
  • Sentenced to death on July 18, 2007.
Parvez Shaikh guilty of parking a bomb in Katha Bazaar that killed four.

  • Guilty of planting bomb in Hotel Sea Rock, destroying property worth nine crores.
  • Sentenced to death on July 18, 2007.
Mohammed Iqbal Mohammed Yusuf Shaikh convicted for throwing hand grenades in Sahar airport; parking an unexploded RDX-laden scooter in Naigaon

  • Obtaining arms training in Pakistan, loading RDX in vehicles on the night of March 11
  • Sentenced to death on July 20, 2007.
Naseem Barmare guilty of hurling hand grenades at Sahar airport, parking unexploded scooter at Naigaum, taking training in Pakistan
Mohammed Farooq Pawale planting an RDX-laden car at Air-India building killing 20 and injuring 84.

  • Parking an RDX-laden van near Sena Bhavan with approver killing 4 and injuring 50
  • Participated in arms training in Pakistan
  • Participated in the landing of arms and ammunition at Shekhadi
  • Sentenced to death on July 25, 2007.
Mustaq Tarani participated in a meeting at hotel Taj Mahal. He did a recce of the sites for the blasts.

  • Planting at Hotel Juhu Centaur injuring 3 and causing loss of property worth Rs 2.10 crore
  • Planting an unexploded scooter at Sheikh Memen street in Zaveri Bazaar
  • Sentenced to death on July 18, 2007.
Imtiaz Ghavate only one who did not face death planted unexploded RDX-laden scooter at Dhanji street. He also participated in the landing of arms and ammunition at Shekhadi

Accused involved

Mohammed Moin Qureshi, Feroz Amani Malik, Bashir Khairulla, Zakir Hussain and Abdul Akhtar Khan had pelted handgrendes in Mahim Causeway causing three deaths and injuring six. The driver Salim Shaikh, did not pelt any handgrenades.
Bashir Khairulla convicted for his participation in arms, ammunition and explosives training conducted by Tiger Memon in Sandheri and Bhorghat

  • Convicted for participating in the conspirator’s meetings in the house of Mubina Baya and for participating in the filling of RDX in the vehicles
Zakir Hussain was convicted for participating in the arms, ammunition and weapon training in Pakistan, for participating in conspirator’s meetings and participating in the filling of RDX

  • Sentenced to death on July 24, 2007.
Abdul Akhtar Khan convicted for taking arms, ammunition and explosives training in Pakistan.

  • Sentenced to death on July 24, 2007.
Firoz Amani Malik convicted for taking arms, ammunition and explosives training in Pakistan

  • Sentenced to death on July 24, 2007.
Moin Qureshi convicted for participating in the arms, ammunition and explosives training, participating in the conspirator’s meeting and participating in the filling of RDX in vehicles on March 11.

  • Was also found guilty for being in possession of 17 handgrenades.
  • Sentenced to life imprisonment on July 24, 2007.

Landing agents

Dawood Phanse in his 60s, he is guilty of conspiracy. Guilty of organising the landing of arms and ammunition in Shekhadi; attending a conspiracy meeting in Dubai with Dawood Ibrahim
Dadabhai Parkar, landing at Shekhadi, showed training camps at Sandheri and Bhor Ghat, transportation of consignment.

  • Acquitted of conspiracy, the prosecution has sought life imprisonment

Customs officials

S N Thapa, former additional customs collector, preventive

  • Guilty of conspiracy. He got information about the landing at Shekhadi and that the main exit point could be in Mhasla Shrivardhan area. He laid a trap at Purarphata on Mhasla-Goregaon road on January 30. Besides that, his team gave up the vigil after February 2 in spite of the warnings. However, the CBI has asked for lesser sentence as he suffers from cancer. S N Thapa has died in early 2008. He was suffering from Cancer.
R K Singh, Former assistant commissioner of customs,

  • convicted for facilitating RDX landing in Shekhadi after accepting bribe of more than 7.8 lakh Rupees.
  • Had meetings with the accused.
Mohammed Sultan, Sayyed former customs superintendent.

  • Convicted for facilitating RDX landing in Shekhadi after accepting bribe of more than 7.8 lakh.
  • Had attended meetings with the accused.
Jaywant Gurav, former customs inspector.

  • Convicted for allowing passage of RDX from Raigad to Mumbai
S S Talwadekar, former customs superintendent.

  • Convicted for allowing passage of RDX from Raigad to Mumbai


Vijay Patil, ex police sub-inspector

  • Guilty of conspiracy and taking bribe to allow passage of RDX from Raigad to Mumbai
  • Has been sentenced to life imprisonment and 1 lakh rupees fine by TADA court on 22 May 2007
Ashok Muleshwar, P M Mahadik, Ramesh Mali and S Y Palshikar; all Police Constables

  • Guilty of allowing passage of RDX of arms from Raigad to Mumbai.
  • All four sentenced by TADA court to six years’ imprisonment and a fine of Rs 25,000 each on May 21,2007

Sanjay Dutt and friends

Sanjay Dutt, Has been convicted in the 1993 Mumbai blasts case.He has been sentenced to 6 years in Prison; Although many people, fans or otherwise, still deny the fact of his involvement. Sanjay Dutt’s lawyer would be appealing for a bail in Supreme Court based on technicality. In 12 years the actor has never violated his bail provisions. Once he gets bail he can appeal in the Supreme Court to have the sentence set aside. This can take several years at the end of which he may be acquitted or sent back to jail to serve his six-year sentence. The worst-case scenario is that the Supreme Court feels that TADA should be applied on Dutt, which is unlikely but possible. If his appeal is accepted the Arms Act sentence is set aside. But If his appeal is rejected he goes to jail for 6 years (minus 16 months he’s already done. Some critics question why TADA not applied on him?
Yusuf Nulwalla, convicted for trying to destroy Sanjay’s arms. He has been sentenced to five years rigorous imprisonment with two years further for destroying the arms. Also, he has to pay Rs 25,000 as fine.
Kersi Adajenia, convicted for trying to destroy Sanjay’s arms. He has been sentence to two years rigorous imprisonment. He too has been slapped with a fine of Rs. 25,000 fine.
Rusi Mulla, convicted for trying to destroy Sanjay’s arms. He has been freed by the court but has to pay Rs. 1 lakh to the court.
All four have been convicted under Arms Act and had applied for release under Probation of Offenders Act


Zaibunnisa Kadri guilty for storing AK-56 and handgrendes at the instance of Anees Ibrahim and Abu Salem, she faces a minimum of five years RI.
Mansoor Ahmed convicted for carrying weapons from Sanjay Dutt’s house to co-accused’s house has already spent 9 years in prison
Samir Hingora convicted for conspiracy. For supplying 3 AK-56 rifles, its magazines and ammunition, hand grenades to Sanjay Dutt’s residence at told to by Anis Ibrahim. Prosecution has sought the death sentence
Ibrahim Musa Chauhan alias Baba Chauhan convicted for supplying AK-56 rifles, its magazines, ammunition, and hand grenades to Sanjay Dutt and Salim Kurla as told to by Anis Ibrahim. He was also convicted for being in unauthorised possession of one AK 56 rifles, 635 ammunition, 10 magazines, and 25 handgrenades, which were recovered by the police
Ejaz Pathan extradited from Dubai in 2003, participated in Dubai meetings, provided men for landing of arms and ammunition at Shekhadi, for being in possession of arms and sending youth to Dubai for arms training. Referenced from

Leave a comment

  1. Note that Sanjay Datt’s father Sunil Datt was Congress MP and Minister..
    Again congress men involved in Terrorist activity in India.

    September 29, 2008 at 11:57 AM

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