More than 20 years have passed but trials are still on. One more accused Yakub Abdul Razak Memon, a death row convict in the March 12, 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case, will be hanged at 7 am on July 30 in Nagpur Central Jail, if the Supreme Court rejects his curative petition on July 21. It will be the first execution in the 1993 blasts case.
The 1993 Mumbai bombings were a series of 13 bomb explosions that took place in Mumbai. The co-ordinated attacks were the most destructive bomb explosions in Indian history. The single-day attacks resulted in over 257 fatalities and 700 injuries. The attacks were co-ordinated by Dawood Ibrahim Kaskar, don of the Mumbai-based international organised crime syndicate named D-Company. Kaskar is believed to have ordered and helped organise the bombings in Mumbai, through one of his subordinates, Tiger Memon. The bombings are also believed to have been financially assisted by the expatriate Indian smugglers, Haji Ahmed, Haji Umar and Taufiq Jaliawala, as well as the Pakistani smugglers, Dawood Jatt. The Indian authorities have not successfully proved the involvement of the Pakistani intelligence agency (ISI) in the blasts. Several of the terrorists according to Indian government allegedly received arms, ammunition and explosives training in Pakistan but Indian authorities have failed to provide any evidence confirming these allegations.
Supreme Court of India gave its judgement on 21 March 2013 after over 20 years of judicial proceedings sentencing the accused. However, the two main suspects in the case, Dawood Ibrahim and Tiger Memon, have not been arrested or tried yet. A chartered accountant, Memon is currently lodged in the Nagpur Central Jail. The 53-year-old Memon, whose mercy plea was rejected by President Pranab Mukherjee in April this year, filed his second review petition before the Supreme Court which is expected to be heard on July 21. However, the state government is making all preparations for the hanging with the warrant issued earlier this week. Meanwhile, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said that the state government would follow the directives given by the Supreme Court over the execution of Memon.
Memon was awarded the death sentence by a Special TADA Court in Mumbai on July 27, 2007 for his role in the blasts, including arranging finances for carrying out the 13 serial explosions which left 257 dead and over 700 injured across the city on March 12, 1993.
I hope after such long time a good verdict comes out in the case and the accused gets hanged. This may deter and shake the underworld operators.1993 bombings were carried out at the behest of gangster Dawood Ibrahim to avenge the destruction of an ancient mosque by Hindu zealots in 1992 and subsequent riots in which many Muslims were killed. A special anti-terrorism court had convicted 100 people in the attacks. Unnecessarily the innocents had to give away their lives.
After that incident, Mumbai had bled at many occasions. On 10 August 2003, two large and destructive bombs left in taxis exploded in south Mumbai – the Gateway of India and Zaveri Bazaar in the busy Kalbadevi area – killing 52 people and injuring more than a hundred others. Two Pakistan based militant groups, Jaish-e-Mohammed and Lashkar-e-Taiba, were found to be responsible for the attacks. Along with the 11th July 2006 train bombings in Mumbai, these attacks are believed to be in retaliation for the 2002 Gujarat riots in which more than ten thousand persons, including 790 Muslims and 254 Hindus were killed which was in turn triggered by gruesome burning of Hindu pilgrims in the Sabarmati Express train, though the Gujarat government denies such a connection. Terrorist groups based in Pakistan were suspected to be responsible for these bombings, and evidence uncovered pointed to the involvement of underworld don Dawood Ibrahim.
The then Chief Minister of Maharashtra during the blasts, Sharad Pawar, admitted, on record, that he had “deliberately misled” people following the 1993 Mumbai blasts by saying there were “12 and not 13” explosions, adding the name of a Muslim-dominated locality to show that people from both communities had been affected. He tried to justify this deception by claiming that it was a move to prevent communal riots by falsely portraying that both Hindu and Muslim communities in the city had been affected adversely. He also admits to lying about evidence recovered and misleading people into believing that some of it pointed towards the Tamil Tigers as possible suspects.
The bombings also caused a major rift within the D-Company, the most powerful criminal organisation in the Mumbai underworld headed by Dawood Ibrahim. Infuriated at the bombings, Ibrahim’s right-hand man Chotta Rajan split from the organisation, taking most of the leadership-level Hindu aides such as Sadhu Shetty, Jaspal Singh and Mohan Kotiyan with him. Rajan’s split divided the Mumbai underworld along communal lines and pitted Chotta Rajan’s predominantly Hindu gang against Dawood Ibrahim’s predominantly Muslim D-Company. The ensuing gang war took the lives of more than a hundred gangsters and continues till today. Seven of the accused (Salim Kurla, Majeed Khan, Shakil Ahmed, Mohammed Jindran, Hanif Kadawala, Akbar Abu Sama Khan and Mohammed Latif) were systematically assassinated by Chotta Rajan’s hitmen.
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