1993 Bomb Blast Justice Served after 24 Years

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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.

Life Imprisonment:

  1. Dawood Phanse: Shekadi landing, Dubai meeting with Dawood, Tiger
  2. VK Patil: Ex-Sub Inspector of Srivardhan police station
  3. Niyaz Ahmed: Conspiracy, reconnaissance of BMC building before the blasts
  4. Nasir Dhakla: Cconspiracy, bomb preparation
  5. Muzammil Umar Kadri: Smuggling/transportation
  6. Ashrafur Rehman Shaikh: Found with 85 grenades, 350 detonators and rounds
  7. Zamir Sayed Ismail Kadri: Concealing initiating device/ conspiracy to an extent
  8. Parvez Qureshi: Conspiracy, presence in Al-Husseini during RDX-filling
  9. Salim Mira Shaikh: Dighi landing, bribing police and customs officials
  10. Sardar Shahavali Khan: Conspiracy, Al-Husseini, recee of BMC, Tiger’s guard
  11. Shaikh Ali Shaikh Umer: Conspiracy, BMC recce, presence in Maruti van
  12. Salim Rahim Shaikh: Driver of Mahim vehicle, Pakistan training, bomb-filling
  13. Imtiyaz Gavate: Shekhadi landing, planting scooter at Dhanji street
  14. Nasim Bharmare: Pakistan training, bomb-making, throwing grenade at airport
  15. Somnath Thapa: Conspiracy, facilitating landing for Dawood, Tiger and Dossa
  16. Bashir Khairula: Conspiracy, part of team that hurled grenade at Mahim
  17. Moin Qureshi: Lobbed grenade at Mahim
  18. Rubina Memon: Allowed her flat, garage and vehicle to be used
  19. Yusuf Memon: Allowed his flat, garage to be used
  20. Essa Memon: Allowed his flat, garage to be used

14-year sentence:

  1. Sharif Parkar: Shekhadi landing, Dawood Phanse’s deputy
  2. Uttam Potdar: Bribing customs and police officials, Persian Durbar meet
  3. Manojkumar Gupta: Shekhadi landing, possession of weapons

13-year sentence:

  1. Farooq Ilyas Motorwala: Sending approver to Pakistan, visiting Dubai

10-year sentence:

  1. Shahid Qureshi: Shekhadi landing, close Tiger aide
  2. Shaikh Mond Ethesham: Shekhadi landing, Ejaz Pathan aide
  3. Shahnawaz Khan: Visited Dubai, helped Tiger in smuggling
  4. Khalil Ahmed Sayed Ali Nasir: Smuggling/transportation
  5. Mohd Kasam Lajpuria alias Mechanic Chacha: Landing agent
  6. Issaq Mohammed Hajwani: Showed site for training to Tiger in Sanderi
  7. Ayub Patel: Found with 20 grenades
  8. Mansoor Ahmed Sayyed Ahmed: Went to Sanjay Dutt’s house with Abu Salem
  9. Altaf Ali Shaikh: Possession of 85 hand-grenades given by Yakub Memon
  10. Ibrahim alias Baba Musa Chouhan: Supplied weapons to Sanjay, Salim Kurla
  11. Ejaz Pathan: Dubai meeting, possession of AK-56

Nine-year sentence:

  1. Sarfaraz Phanse: Shekhadi landing, Phanse’s son
  2. Tulsiram Surve: Wangani tower watchman
  3. Samir Hingora: Organising AK-56 for Sanjay Dutt
  4. RK Singh: Ex-customs official, Persian Durbar meet

Eight-year sentence

  1. Gulam Hafiz Shaikh alias Baba: Driver/transportation
  2. Jayant Gurav: Ex-Customs official
  3. SS Talavadekar: Ex-Customs official
  4. Asis Yusuf Shaikh: Four hand grenades found in his possession

 Seven-year sentence

  1. Mohd Rafique Usman Skaikh: Pakistan training, conspiracy meeting
  2. Suleman Gawate: Arms landing/driver
  3. Sajjad Alam: Rickshaw driver who transported explosives
  4. Sayyed Abdul Rehman Shaikh: Driver involved in transportation of explosives
  5. Raju Jain: Providing jeeps to Tiger Memon
  6. Mohd Rafique Biyariwala: Transportation, Tiger’s former driver
  7. Mohammed Sultan Sayed: Ex- Customs official

Six-year sentence:

  1. SY Pashilkar: Police constable
  2. RD Mali: Police constable
  3. PM Mahadik: Police constable
  4. AN Muneshwar: Police constable
  5. Gul Mohammed Noor Mohd Shaikh: Pakistan training
  6. Mohd Hanif Usman Shaikh: Pakistan training
  7. Mohd Saeed Mohd Ishaq: Pakistan training
  8. Usman Man Khan Shaikh: Pakistan training
  9. Abdul Aziz Gharatkar: Arms landing, aide of Phanse
  10. Mohd Yunus Rasool Botomiya: Found with AK magazines/cartridges
  11. Janardhan Gambas: Helped Uttam Potdar, landing agent
  12. Abdullah Ibrahim Surti: Helped in concealment
  13. Faki Ali Faki Ahmed Subedar: Helped in concealment
  14. Mohd Dawood Khan: Three AK-56/nine magazines
  15. Sanjay Dutt: Illegal possession of 9-mm pistol, AK-56

Five-year sentence:

  1. Yusuf Khan alias Kayyum Khan: Shekhadi landing/ transportation
  2. Shahnawaz Hajwani: Sanderi training
  3. Sikandar Hajwani: Sanderi training
  4. Ayub Qureshi: Found with pistol/52 rounds
  5. Sayyed Mujju Kadri: Role in Shekhadi landing
  6. Mujib Parkar: Landing, Sharif Parkar’s son
  7. Ehsan Mohd Zufel Qureshi: Found with Mouser pistol
  8. Salim Durrani: AK-56 possession
  9. Aziz Ahamed Shaikh: Found with US-made carbine
  10. Liyakat Ali Khan: Allowed RDX to be stored in father’s godown
  11. Noor Mohd Khan: Disposal of RDX in Nagla bunder
  12. Mulchand Shah: Hawala operator, channelised funds
  13. Mubina Bhiwandiwala: Conspiracy meeting held at her Bandra residence
  14. Zaibunissa Qazi: Weapons that Sanjay returned kept at her residence
  15. Yusuf Nulwala: Sanjay’s friend, took AK-56 from his residence for destroying

Three-year sentence:

  1. Yashwant Boinkar: Gave boat for landing
  2. Abbas Shaikhdhare: Gave boat for landing
  3. Shahjehan Shaikhdhare: Gave boat for landing
  4. Rashid Alware: Contraband transportation
  5. Sharif Adhikar: Shekhadi landing

Two-year sentence:

  1. Kersi Adajenia – Foundry used to destroy AK-56 possessed by Sanjay

Probation granted:

  1. Rusi Mulla – Part of Sanjay Dutt group

Acquitted:

  1. Suleiman Memon (Tiger Memon’s brother)
  2. Hanifa Memon (Tiger Memon’s mother)
  3. Raheen Memon (Yakub Memon’s wife)
  4. Asfaq Havaldar
  5. Krishna Mokal (constable)
  6. Krishna Pingle (constable)
  7. Manohar More (constable)
  8. Mansoor Qureshi
  9. Shaikh Kasam Babulal
  10. Sultan-e-Rome Sardar Ali Gul
  11. Mohammed Iqbal Ibrahim
  12. Abdul Aziz Abdul Kadar
  13. Ruksana Jariwala
  14. Mohammed Ahmed Mansoor
  15. Moiuddin Cheruvatam
  16. Ismail Patel
  17. Anant Shakaram Bhoir
  18. Shakeel Shahabuddin Shaikh
  19. Devidas Keshav Ghule
  20. Sayed Ismail Qadri
  21. Fasal Rehman Shaikh
  22. Murad Ibrahim Khan (builder)
  23. Ajay Marwah (Sanjay Dutt’s friend)

Absconding accused:

  1. Dawood Ibrahim Kaskar
  2. Mushtaq alias Ibrahim alias Tiger Memon
  3. Ayub Memon (Tiger’s brother)
  4. Anees Ibrahim Kaskar (Dawood’s brother)
  5. Shabana Memon (Tiger’s Wife)
  6. Reshma Memon (Ayub’s wife)
  7. Javed alias Javed Chikna Dawood Tailor
  8. Anwar Theba
  9. Mohd Shafi Memon alias Jariwala
  10. Mohd Phansopkar alias Salim Mujahid
  11. Yakub Khan alias Yeda Yakub
  12. Irhan Ahmed Chaughule
  13. Khan Bashir Ahmed
  14. Mohammed Dossa (Mustafa Dossa’s brother)
  15. Munaf Halari
  16. Nasir Ahmed Shaikh alias Babloo
  17. Abdul Rahid Mohd Khan
  18. Kamarbhai
  19. Latif Noor Mohd alias Latif Bhagwala
  20. Mohd Liyaqat Khan
  21. Mobin
  22. Shabbir Sayyed Ismail Kadri
  23. Shamshad
  24. Salim Abdul Ghani Gazi
  25. Moahd Farooq
  26. Taufique Jariwala
  27. Sayyed Arif.