Blast; Justice served after 24 years The judgment, which came 24 years after a special court was set up immediately after the terror attack in March 1993, sentenced two convicts to death. Another two were given life imprisonment, including international gangster Abu Salem.
One may forget the hidden beauty of Bombay but not the world’s first large-scale coordinated terror attack which took place on 12 March 1993 which emerged in the history of world as ‘Black Friday’. A series of bomb blast that ripped through Bombay which is known as Mumbai now, killing 257 people and leaving 713 injured, a special court Thursday handed the death penalty to two of the accused and life imprisonment to two more, including extradited gangster Abu Salem.
Large Scale coordinated terror attack
The serial blasts were a conspiracy by Mumbai’s underworld kingpin Dawood Ibrahim to set off a fresh round of violence against the Hindu community. The plan was also to ship consignments of RDX, AK-56 rifles and hand-grenades into the city, to build bombs and arm petty criminals.
How Mumbai Police cracked the case
An over 150-member team of the Mumbai police force was set up under the command of Rakesh Maria, the then Deputy Commissioner of Police. On the day of the blasts, the police found an abandoned scooter in Mahim with RDX which did not explode and a Maruti van packed with grenades and weapons. The van was registered in the name of a Rubina Memon, who lived in Mahim. On reaching her address, the police found it locked. They had left India two days prior to the bombings.
Inside the house, Maria found a key that matched the unexploded scooter, which helped him zero in on the Memons: Abdul Razak Memon and his five sons, Tiger, akub, Suleiman, Essa, Yusuf and Ayub. Tiger, the oldest son, was a smuggler and henchman for Dawood.
The police searched the country, hauling in suspects that matched a pattern based on previous intelligence reports of weapon consignments coming to India, which they had received but ignored. Finally, two suspects turned approvers and confessed minute details of the planning. They walked free in 2007.
Of the six convicted by the special Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act court on June 16, Taher Merchant and Feroz Abdul Rashid Khan were sentenced to death; Salem and Karimullah Khan were handed concurrent life sentences on two separate counts each; and, Riyaz Siddiqui got 10 years’ imprisonment. Mustafa Dossa died less than a fortnight after the conviction four months ago.
The CBI had sought death sentences for Feroz, Merchant and Karimullah while seeking life for Salem and Siddiqui.
All the seven accused were facing multiple charges, which included criminal conspiracy, waging war against the state and murder. The accused said they will be filing appeals against the order before the Supreme Court.
A relative of Taher Merchant said the family would file an appeal at the earliest. Legal representatives of Salem said the life sentence is in violation of the extradition treaty with Portugal and that they would file an appeal in the European Union.
The CBI had argued that though Salem’s role was that of one of the “main conspirators”, he should not be given the death sentence as it would be against the provisions of the Indian Extradition Act.
In the 2,164-page judgment, Special Judge G A Sanap observed that Merchant by remaining in Dubai had deprived the investigating agency of necessary assistance. In June, while convicting Merchant, the court had called him a “main conspirator” who in the initial part of the conspiracy worked with “the brain” behind the blasts, Tiger Memon.
The court further said that he had been part of several conspiratorial meetings held in Dubai and had also arranged for the entry of several co-accused to Pakistan for training in arms and ammunition.
On granting Karimullah life imprisonment while giving Feroz death, the court said that there can be no comparison in their roles. “Feroz comes from a well-educated family. His father was a petty officer in the Indian Navy. So the role of the two is not comparable. Karimullah hails from a lower strata, with no educational background… Feroz was a partner with the Dossa brothers,” the court said.
“Offences and offenders of terrorism need to be dealt with sternly. Further generations need to be saved from the menace of terrorism. A lenient view in such cases can weaken the fight and collect efforts to combat terrorism,” the court said.
On RDX and arms brought to Mumbai for the attack, the court observed that the offenders had knowledge of the offence.
“It is necessary to mention that RDX cannot be used as a powder to kill mosquitoes and flies and it cannot be assumed that AK 56 rifles were being distributed in schools in Bombay as toys,” the court said.
The court also observed that it is necessary to note that the conspirators and perpetrators of the crime rejoiced at the success of the crime.
Judge Sanap had in June observed that Feroz was “a prominent member” of the Dossa gang and was “actively involved” in smuggling the arms and ammunition to India. The court had also refused to accept Feroz’s defence that his was a case of mistaken identity and that he was a man named Hamza.
The special court also said that the fine amount levied on the accused was “meagre” and “inadequate” for victims. It has directed the District Legal Services Authority to recommend adequate compensation.
It has also directed the SP (CBI) to trace injured and disabled victims as well as kin of the deceased victims who are not included in the list submitted earlier by the CBI. The CBI had submitted a list naming 232 dead and 613 injured.
On September 7, the convicts spent a long day in court, being escorted back to prison only at 11 pm after copies of the judgment were given to them.
On March 12, 1993, 12 devices exploded across Mumbai between1.30 pm and 3.40 pm, the first at Bombay Stock Exchange followed by the rest at Katha Bazaar, Lucky Petrol Pump near Sena Bhavan in Dadar, opposite the passport office near Century Bazaar in Worli, the fishermen’s colony in Mahim, the basement of the Air India building in Nariman Point, Zaveri Bazaar, Hotel Sea Rock in Bandra, Plaza Cinema in Dadar and Centaur Hotel in Juhu.
The CBI claimed that the blasts were planned and executed in retaliation for the Babri Masjid demolition in Ayodhya in December 1992 and the subsequent communal violence in Mumbai.
How Is Sanjay Dutt Involved?
During the probe, the police discovered that Anees Ibrahim had given AK-56s to actor Sanjay Dutt. They claimed they found phone records showing regular communication between the two, especially calls made from Dutt’s house to Dawood’s Dubai residence, ironically called the ‘White House’. Accused Abu Salem and Riyaz Siddiqui, confessed to delivering one of the many smuggled consignments to Dutt’s house.
No marriage for Salem
The special court disposed of the application of Abu Salem seeking permission to marry. The application was filed by a Mumbra- based woman after reports claimed that the gangster had married her on board a train while being escorted for a hearing. The court observed that the application should be disposed of since it is “infructuous”. The court also rejected Salem’s application seeking to be transferred to a prison outside Maharashtra, preferably Uttar Pradesh, on the same grounds.Death Sentence:
1. Parvez Nasir Ahmed Shaikh: Planted bomb at Katha Bazar, Sea Rock Hotel
2. Mustaq Tarani: Planted bomb at Juhu Centaur
3. Abdul Gani Turk: Planted bomb at Century Bazar
4. Asgar Mukadam: Planted bomb at Plaza theatre
5. Shahnawaz Qureshi: planted bomb at Plaza theatre
6. Mohd Shoaib Ghansar: Planted bomb at Zaveri Bazar
7. Mohd Iqbal Mohd Yusuf Shaikh: Planted bomb at Naigaon
8. Zakir Hussain: Lobbedgrenade at Mahim
9. Abdul Akhtar Khan: Lobbedgrenade at Mahim
10. Firoz Amani Malik: Lobbedgrenade at Mahim
11. Mohd Farooq Pawle: Bombed Air-India, Lucky Petrol pump and did recee of the Bombay Stock Exchange
12. Yakub Memon: Conspiracy, financing and aiding and facilitating terror act.
Most of them had appealed to the Supreme Court again the death sentence. The apex court had confirmed the death sentence for Yakub Memon, but commuted the sentences of other convicts to life imprisonment.
- Dawood Phanse: Shekadi landing, Dubai meeting with Dawood, Tiger
- VK Patil: Ex-Sub Inspector of Srivardhan police station
- Niyaz Ahmed: Conspiracy, reconnaissance of BMC building before the blasts
- Nasir Dhakla: Cconspiracy, bomb preparation
- Muzammil Umar Kadri: Smuggling/transportation
- Ashrafur Rehman Shaikh: Found with 85 grenades, 350 detonators and rounds
- Zamir Sayed Ismail Kadri: Concealing initiating device/ conspiracy to an extent
- Parvez Qureshi: Conspiracy, presence in Al-Husseini during RDX-filling
- Salim Mira Shaikh: Dighi landing, bribing police and customs officials
- Sardar Shahavali Khan: Conspiracy, Al-Husseini, recee of BMC, Tiger’s guard
- Shaikh Ali Shaikh Umer: Conspiracy, BMC recce, presence in Maruti van
- Salim Rahim Shaikh: Driver of Mahim vehicle, Pakistan training, bomb-filling
- Imtiyaz Gavate: Shekhadi landing, planting scooter at Dhanji street
- Nasim Bharmare: Pakistan training, bomb-making, throwing grenade at airport
- Somnath Thapa: Conspiracy, facilitating landing for Dawood, Tiger and Dossa
- Bashir Khairula: Conspiracy, part of team that hurled grenade at Mahim
- Moin Qureshi: Lobbed grenade at Mahim
- Rubina Memon: Allowed her flat, garage and vehicle to be used
- Yusuf Memon: Allowed his flat, garage to be used
- Essa Memon: Allowed his flat, garage to be used
- Sharif Parkar: Shekhadi landing, Dawood Phanse’s deputy
- Uttam Potdar: Bribing customs and police officials, Persian Durbar meet
- Manojkumar Gupta: Shekhadi landing, possession of weapons
- Farooq Ilyas Motorwala: Sending approver to Pakistan, visiting Dubai
- Shahid Qureshi: Shekhadi landing, close Tiger aide
- Shaikh Mond Ethesham: Shekhadi landing, Ejaz Pathan aide
- Shahnawaz Khan: Visited Dubai, helped Tiger in smuggling
- Khalil Ahmed Sayed Ali Nasir: Smuggling/transportation
- Mohd Kasam Lajpuria alias Mechanic Chacha: Landing agent
- Issaq Mohammed Hajwani: Showed site for training to Tiger in Sanderi
- Ayub Patel: Found with 20 grenades
- Mansoor Ahmed Sayyed Ahmed: Went to Sanjay Dutt’s house with Abu Salem
- Altaf Ali Shaikh: Possession of 85 hand-grenades given by Yakub Memon
- Ibrahim alias Baba Musa Chouhan: Supplied weapons to Sanjay, Salim Kurla
- Ejaz Pathan: Dubai meeting, possession of AK-56
- Sarfaraz Phanse: Shekhadi landing, Phanse’s son
- Tulsiram Surve: Wangani tower watchman
- Samir Hingora: Organising AK-56 for Sanjay Dutt
- RK Singh: Ex-customs official, Persian Durbar meet
- Gulam Hafiz Shaikh alias Baba: Driver/transportation
- Jayant Gurav: Ex-Customs official
- SS Talavadekar: Ex-Customs official
- Asis Yusuf Shaikh: Four hand grenades found in his possession
- Mohd Rafique Usman Skaikh: Pakistan training, conspiracy meeting
- Suleman Gawate: Arms landing/driver
- Sajjad Alam: Rickshaw driver who transported explosives
- Sayyed Abdul Rehman Shaikh: Driver involved in transportation of explosives
- Raju Jain: Providing jeeps to Tiger Memon
- Mohd Rafique Biyariwala: Transportation, Tiger’s former driver
- Mohammed Sultan Sayed: Ex- Customs official
- SY Pashilkar: Police constable
- RD Mali: Police constable
- PM Mahadik: Police constable
- AN Muneshwar: Police constable
- Gul Mohammed Noor Mohd Shaikh: Pakistan training
- Mohd Hanif Usman Shaikh: Pakistan training
- Mohd Saeed Mohd Ishaq: Pakistan training
- Usman Man Khan Shaikh: Pakistan training
- Abdul Aziz Gharatkar: Arms landing, aide of Phanse
- Mohd Yunus Rasool Botomiya: Found with AK magazines/cartridges
- Janardhan Gambas: Helped Uttam Potdar, landing agent
- Abdullah Ibrahim Surti: Helped in concealment
- Faki Ali Faki Ahmed Subedar: Helped in concealment
- Mohd Dawood Khan: Three AK-56/nine magazines
- Sanjay Dutt: Illegal possession of 9-mm pistol, AK-56
- Yusuf Khan alias Kayyum Khan: Shekhadi landing/ transportation
- Shahnawaz Hajwani: Sanderi training
- Sikandar Hajwani: Sanderi training
- Ayub Qureshi: Found with pistol/52 rounds
- Sayyed Mujju Kadri: Role in Shekhadi landing
- Mujib Parkar: Landing, Sharif Parkar’s son
- Ehsan Mohd Zufel Qureshi: Found with Mouser pistol
- Salim Durrani: AK-56 possession
- Aziz Ahamed Shaikh: Found with US-made carbine
- Liyakat Ali Khan: Allowed RDX to be stored in father’s godown
- Noor Mohd Khan: Disposal of RDX in Nagla bunder
- Mulchand Shah: Hawala operator, channelised funds
- Mubina Bhiwandiwala: Conspiracy meeting held at her Bandra residence
- Zaibunissa Qazi: Weapons that Sanjay returned kept at her residence
- Yusuf Nulwala: Sanjay’s friend, took AK-56 from his residence for destroying
- Yashwant Boinkar: Gave boat for landing
- Abbas Shaikhdhare: Gave boat for landing
- Shahjehan Shaikhdhare: Gave boat for landing
- Rashid Alware: Contraband transportation
- Sharif Adhikar: Shekhadi landing
- Kersi Adajenia – Foundry used to destroy AK-56 possessed by Sanjay
- Rusi Mulla – Part of Sanjay Dutt group
- Suleiman Memon (Tiger Memon’s brother)
- Hanifa Memon (Tiger Memon’s mother)
- Raheen Memon (Yakub Memon’s wife)
- Asfaq Havaldar
- Krishna Mokal (constable)
- Krishna Pingle (constable)
- Manohar More (constable)
- Mansoor Qureshi
- Shaikh Kasam Babulal
- Sultan-e-Rome Sardar Ali Gul
- Mohammed Iqbal Ibrahim
- Abdul Aziz Abdul Kadar
- Ruksana Jariwala
- Mohammed Ahmed Mansoor
- Moiuddin Cheruvatam
- Ismail Patel
- Anant Shakaram Bhoir
- Shakeel Shahabuddin Shaikh
- Devidas Keshav Ghule
- Sayed Ismail Qadri
- Fasal Rehman Shaikh
- Murad Ibrahim Khan (builder)
- Ajay Marwah (Sanjay Dutt’s friend)
- Dawood Ibrahim Kaskar
- Mushtaq alias Ibrahim alias Tiger Memon
- Ayub Memon (Tiger’s brother)
- Anees Ibrahim Kaskar (Dawood’s brother)
- Shabana Memon (Tiger’s Wife)
- Reshma Memon (Ayub’s wife)
- Javed alias Javed Chikna Dawood Tailor
- Anwar Theba
- Mohd Shafi Memon alias Jariwala
- Mohd Phansopkar alias Salim Mujahid
- Yakub Khan alias Yeda Yakub
- Irhan Ahmed Chaughule
- Khan Bashir Ahmed
- Mohammed Dossa (Mustafa Dossa’s brother)
- Munaf Halari
- Nasir Ahmed Shaikh alias Babloo
- Abdul Rahid Mohd Khan
- Latif Noor Mohd alias Latif Bhagwala
- Mohd Liyaqat Khan
- Shabbir Sayyed Ismail Kadri
- Salim Abdul Ghani Gazi
- Moahd Farooq
- Taufique Jariwala
- Sayyed Arif.