Friday, 12th March 1993 was the dreadful day that shook the city: Mumbai, the entertainment hub of India.
Thirteen coordinated bomb explosions starting from 1.30 pm to 3.40 pm jostled the city targeting the Bombay Stock Exchange, Zaveri Bazar, Katha Bazar, Fisherman`s Colony in Mahim, Plaza Cinema Hotel Sea Rock, Hotel Juhu Centaur, Air India building, Sahar Airport, Worli, and Passport office. These are the notorious 1993 Mumbai Blasts.
Most of the bombs were in cars or scooters and the hotel bombs were packed in suitcases and kept in rooms booked by the culprits. The casualties reported include around 257 dead and 700 injured.
But a valid question would be: What compelled the attacks? The attacks came in the aftermath of the infamous Ayodhya dispute over the demolition of Babri Masjid by Hindu karsevaks in December 1992. Large scale communal violence erupted in Bombay in January 1993. The masterminds- Dawood Ibrahim, Tiger Memon and Yakub Memon came up with a supposedly fool proof plan! Subsequently, 19 men handpicked by Tiger Memon (the right hand man of Dawood Ibrahim) were brainwashed that the attacks were a way of seeking vengeance for the destruction of the Mosque in 1992. These minions were mostly petty criminals who had a history with the police. In February 1993, they were taken to Pakistan via Dubai to be trained in handling arms, ammunitions and building bombs.
The attacks were originally planned for April, 1993 but had to be preponed because Gul Noor Mohammad alias Gullu was detained by the Mumbai police on March 9, 1993 after returning from Pakistan. His brother had been taken in police custody in order to lure him to the police. Gullu admitted to being a part of the riots in Mumbai 1993 post the Babri Masjid havoc. Here comes the climax: he also hinted at some attacks being planned to pave way for Mumbai’s devastation. The police did not pay heed to this creative plot and rubbished the conspiracy entirely.
Now that Tiger Memon’s little secret was out in the open- time for Plan B! Instead of waiting till April 1993, the gory attacks were executed 3 days after Gullu’s detention. Following the blasts, the indignant Hindu members of Dawood’s D- Company, Chhota Rajan and Sadhu Shetty, left the gang, thereby creating a rift amongst underworld mafia along communal lines.
This story gets better at every turn. Guess what! 2 days prior to this Black Friday (the movie on Mumbai Blasts of 1993), the police had already sensed some danger. An abandoned Maruti car was spotted by the police in Worli, southcentral Mumbai. The car was in Rubina Memon’s name which was traced back to the Memon brothers’ lair: their apartment in Mahim, Central Mumbai. The flat was searched only to discover the keys to a two-wheeler containing explosives in Katha Bazaar. But it was too late. The unfortunate bombings followed.