Almost two decades ago,Badshah Khan,then in his twenties,was among the many who were arrested for their alleged involvement in the March 12,1993 serial blasts in Mumbai. He later turned approver and became the star prosecution witness he was named Badshah Khan to protect his identity. Today,he has finally put his troubled past behind him.
After struggling for years to rehabilitate himself and support his family,Khan,45,has entered Mumbais real estate market,and now dabbles in redevelopment projects under the Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA) scheme in the western suburbs of the city.
Residing in the Yari Road area of suburban Versova with his wife,47,daughter,16,and two sons aged 11 and 15 years,Khan works on behalf of a prominent business group which has several projects in Mumbai and Bangalore.
I am doing reasonably well. These days I am involved in a couple of SRA projects in Juhu Gully. The developers I work with are involved in several projects in Juhu and nearby areas, Khan told The Sunday Express.
Sources said he uses his strong local network and personal relations in these areas to secure the mandatory consent for redevelopment of old buildings that are primarily occupied by Muslim residents.
Arrested on May 10,1993,Khan turned approver and helped the police piece together the conspiracy behind the blasts which claimed 257 lives and left 713 injured. Despite several suspects being arrested,it was only after Khans admission that the plot behind the 1993 blasts,and all the players involved,became clear.
In August 2007,he was pardoned by the TADA court.
He was extremely important as he identified 34 accused. He was himself part of the conspiracy,right from the meetings to the landing of RDX and arms and ammunition,the terrorist training,and the planting of the bombs. Therefore,he was privy to all that had transpired, said ADGP (Maharashtra ATS) Rakesh Maria.
After his release,Khan eked out a living by selling parathas and kebabs in Versova. But my earlier troubles seem to be behind me, said Khan.