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The Mumbai 1993 serial bombings

THE BOMBS Friday, March 12, 1993: At 1.30 p.m a bomb ripped through the cars parked in the basement of the 18-storey bombay stock exchange b...

Written by Pranab Dhal Samanta | Dhaka |
November 12, 2005


Friday, March 12, 1993: At 1.30 p.m a bomb ripped through the cars parked in the basement of the 18-storey bombay stock exchange building. Eleven more bombs planted in suitcases, cars or scooters exploded across Mumbai over the next two hours. Grenades were hurled in three areas an unsuccessful attempt made to bomb a petroleum refinery in Chembur.

Targets: BSE building, Air India building, Plaza Theatre (Dadar), Shiv Sena Bhavan (Dadar), Worli (near Passport Office), Zaveri bazaar, Century bazaar, Kathia bazaar. Suitcase bombs at Hotel Centaur, Sea Rock Hotel and airline offices.

Toll: 257 dead, 97 at bomb sites. Injured: 1,400

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Smuggled: AK-56 assault rifles and RDX (research and development explosives) and explosives were smuggled in by sea in late December 1992 and through January and February 1993.

Stored: At Al-husseni, Semi Manzil building, opposite Mahim police station. Prime accused Tiger Memon lived there.

Moved: New vehicles were purchased under fictitious names and cavities to conceal explosives were created at Al Husseni building.

Trail: The explosives carried Austrian markings, the cartons they were stored in had marking from Lahore and Islamabad, Pakistan.


Paperwork: A chargesheet running over 1,400 pages, with 13,000 pages of statements given by 684 witnesses and 9,192 pages of statements given by 122 accused. Most voluminous in Indian history.

Cases: 27 at various police stations in Mumbai, Thane and Raigad.

Officials arrested: Additional collector of Customs (Marine and Preventive), one assistant collector of Customs, two superintendent of Customs, one Customs inspectors, two police sub-inspectors and seven constables. Convictions: None


Dawood Ibrahim, Mushtaq Memon alias Tiger Memon and Mustafa Dossa, all at large.

Dawood Ibrahim Kaskar: Son of a Mumbai police crime branch constable, started his criminal career in south Mumbai, as a cheat. Learned about smuggling at the docks. During the late 1980s and 1990s, he operated from Dubai. Charged with being the brains, banker and chief manager of the 1993 serial bombings. Allegedly sheltered by Pakistan intelligence agencies, given a Pakistani passport. Currently reported to be hiding in Karachi.

Tiger Memon: A gold smuggler from Mumbai. A Kutchi, Tiger Memon used to deal with smuggler Mustafa Dossa and Pakistani smugglers Jalil and Taufiq. Twice nabbed, a COFEPOSA (Conservation of Foreign Exchange and Prevention of Smuggling Act) notice was issued against him in October 1992. The man who issued the notice, Additional Collector of Customs L D Arora was later murdered by Babloo Shrivastava gang at Memon’s behest. It was Arranged for the explosives, bought vehicles used in the bombings. Brother Yakub Memon, one of the alleged planners, was arrested by CBI in 1995. Whereabouts unknown.

Mustafa Dossa: A gold and silver smuggler. Prior to the serial blasts, he was wanted under COFEPOSA. Dossa used to operate along with Tiger Memon. Dossa has done a lot of investment in Mumbai’s western suburbs. His brother Mustafa Majnu was recently deported from Dubai. Whereabouts unknown

Prabhat Sharan

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