31 Years Of 1993 Bombay Blasts: ‘Black Friday’ That Scarred City For 1st Time But Memories Live On

by thesquadron.in

The Most Destructive Bomb Explosions in Indian History

The 1993 Bombay bombings, which occurred on 12th March 1993, were a series of 12 bomb explosions that took place in Mumbai, India (then known as Bombay). These coordinated attacks were carried out as an act of revenge for earlier riots that had claimed many lives. Regrettably, these bombings became the most destructive bomb explosions in Indian history at the time. It is worth noting that these bombings were also the first of their kind in the world, marking a somber moment in the history of terrorism.

A Day of Devastation

The single-day attacks resulted in 257 fatalities and 713 injuries. The bombings shocked the nation and left a lasting impact on the city of Mumbai. The then-Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Sharad Pawar, announced that there had been thirteen blasts, including a fictitious bomb in a Muslim quarter of the city, to prevent the events from taking on a communal hue. The attacks were meticulously coordinated by Dawood Ibrahim, the leader of the Mumbai-based international organized crime syndicate, D-Company.

The Masterminds Behind the Attacks

Dawood Ibrahim, along with his subordinates Tiger Memon and Yakub Memon, played pivotal roles in planning and executing the bombings. Dawood Ibrahim, a notorious figure in the Mumbai underworld, was believed to have ordered and organized the bombings. However, while Yakub Memon was eventually apprehended, both Dawood Ibrahim and Tiger Memon have managed to evade arrest and trial.

A Long Journey to Justice

The judicial proceedings surrounding the 1993 Bombay bombings were long and complex. It took over 20 years for the Supreme Court of India to give its final judgment. On 21st March 2013, the court upheld the death sentence against suspected ringleader Yakub Memon, while commuting the previous death sentences against 10 others to life imprisonment. This decision brought some closure to the victims’ families and survivors of the horrific attacks.

A Nation Divided

The bombings had far-reaching consequences beyond the immediate loss of life and devastation. They gave rise to a major rift within D-Company, the most powerful criminal organization in the Mumbai underworld. Chotta Rajan, Dawood Ibrahim’s right-hand man, split from the organization and took several Hindu aides with him. This division along communal lines sparked a brutal gang war that claimed the lives of over a hundred gangsters and continues to this day.

Aftermath and Continued Threats

The 1993 Bombay bombings left a lasting impact on Indian society and its fight against terrorism. The official number of fatalities was 257, with 1,400 others injured. However, it is important to note that some sources misreported the death toll due to a separate bomb blast in Calcutta on 17th March, which was not related to the Bombay bombings. The bombings also exposed the need for improved security measures and intelligence gathering within India. The attack highlighted the presence of terrorist networks with links to notorious figures such as Dawood Ibrahim, Osama bin Laden, and Lashkar-e-Toiba. Dawood Ibrahim, who is now wanted by Interpol, has been in hiding since the bombings and is believed to be residing in Pakistan, although the Pakistani government denies this.

Justice Served?

The case of the 1993 Bombay bombings involved hundreds of accused individuals, many of whom were arrested and detained. In 2006, 100 of the 129 accused were found guilty and convicted by a specially designated Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act (TADA) court. However, some of the key perpetrators, including Dawood Ibrahim and Tiger Memon, have managed to evade arrest and trial. Yakub Memon, who was convicted for his involvement in the bombings, was executed by hanging on 30th July 2015.

His execution brought mixed emotions, with some viewing it as justice served and others questioning the fairness of the trial and the death penalty itself.

A Legacy of Tragedy

The 1993 Bombay bombings will forever remain a tragic chapter in Indian history. The coordinated nature of the attacks and the scale of devastation left an indelible mark on the city of Mumbai and its people. While justice has been served to some extent, the masterminds behind the bombings continue to evade capture. The fight against terrorism in India remains an ongoing battle, with the scars of the past serving as a reminder of the need for constant vigilance.

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