1993 Mumbai blasts case: final verdict against 7 accused on June 16

 A special designated Terrorists and Disruptive Activities (Protection) Act (TADA) court, presided by Justice G.A. Sanap, on Monday said that the final judgement involving seven persons for their involvement in the 1993 Mumbai blasts case will be given on June 16.

The 1993 Bombay bombings were a series of 12 bomb explosions that took place in Bombay on 12 March 1993. This was the most destructive bomb explosions in Indian history. This resulted in 257 people dead and 717 people injured.

Some of the targeted locations included the Air India Building, Bombay Stock Exchange, Zaveri Bazar, then existing five star hotels, Hotel Sea Rock and Hotel Juhu Centaur, and others, leading to public and private property worth Rs 27 crore damaged.

The attacks were coordinated by Dawood Ibrahim, who is now hiding in Pakistan. Ibrahim ordered and helped organise this cruel act through Tiger Memon and Yakoob Memon.

A single charge sheet was filed against 129 persons, out of which 100 were convicted. In September 2006, 20 were awarded the life sentence, while a further 12 were awarded the capital punishment. In 2013, 10 of the 12 who were awarded capital punishment, had their sentences commuted to life imprisonment.

Who are the accused?

Abu Salem, Mustafa Dossa, Karimullah Sheikh, Tahir Merchant alias Tahir Taklya, Abdul Qayyum, Firoz Abdul Rashid Khan, and Riyaz Siddiqui.

  • Abu Salem, extradited from Portugal, is accused of transporting and distributing arms and ammunitions.
  • Dossa, extradited from the United Arab Emirates, though he maintains otherwise, is facing charges of landing arms and explosives, conspiracy, and sending individuals to Pakistan for their training.
  • Tahir Merchant is charged with arranging for the other convicts to travel to Pakistan, while Abdul Qayyum is being charged with delivering weapons to actor Sanjay Dutt.
  • Riyaz Siddiqui is facing charges of transporting explosives in a Maruti van which were later used in the blasts.
  • Charges of being present when arms and ammunitions were transported to Mumbai are being faced by Firoz Abdul Rashid Khan.
  • Lastly, Karimullah Sheikh is charged with smuggling arms into the country through the Shekhadi coast of Raigad district, in February 1993.

From a film star to petty crooks to notorious underworld dons to white collar workers such as Yakub Memon, the 1993 bomb blasts impacted every level of society. It changed Mumbai’s communal fabric and introduced India to home-grown terrorism.

A 150+ team of the Mumbai police force was set up under the command of Rakesh Maria who was DCP traffic then. An abandoned scooter and a Maruti Van which was packed with weapons and hand-grenades gave the clues to track the case. The Van was found to be registered in the name of a Rubina Memon who was a resident of Al Hussainia building in Mahim.

We hope that death penalty will be awarded to these who killed 257 innocent lives. It was really depressing to see that when death penalty was given to Yakoob Memon, some had even supported him. Incredible India. Hope these supporters show some prudence at least this time and up hold national interest ahead of their communal interest.

Source: The Hindu

Rajat Bhandary