Mumbai, Sept 7: A Special Terrorism And Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act court in Mumbai on Thursday sentenced 1993 Bombay blasts convicts Abu Salem and Karimulla Khan to life imprisonment with a penalty of Rs 2 lakh each. The court also awarded death sentence to Tahir Merchant and Feroz Khan while, Riyaz Siddiqui has been sentenced to 10 years in jail.

The Special Court convicted 100 accused and acquitted 23 in 2007 during the first leg of the trial.  (ALSO READ – Why Abu Salem Wasn’t Given Death Sentence by TADA Court in 1993 Bombay Blasts Case)

Let’s look at the timeline and 13 key facts on the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts:

  1. The 1993 Mumbai serial blasts were the name given to the 13 bomb explosions that shook Mumbai on March 12, 1993.
  2. The most destructive bomb explosions in Indian history was first of its kind serial-bomb-blasts across the world.
  3. The first bomb went off at 1:30 PM in the basement of the 28-storey Bombay Stock Exchange building. Nearly 50 people were killed in the first explosion. In next two hours 10 minutes, from 1:30 PM to 3:40 PM, a total of 13 bombs exploded throughout Mumbai. The blasts were carried out by planting bombs in cars and scooters.
  4. In hotels, the bombs were left in suitcases.
  5. Till 3:40 PM, the bomb explosions were reported at Fisherman`s Colony in Mahim, Plaza Cinema, Zaveri Bazaar, Katha Bazaar, Hotel Sea Rock, Hotel Juhu Centaur, Air India Building, Sahar Airpot, Worli, and Passport office.
  6. The attacks were planned by Pakistan’s intelligence agency ISI and Dawood Ibrahim, India’s ‘most wanted’ absconder who also has his name on the United States’ ‘most wanted’ list. Dawood was assisted by Tiger Memon, who is believed to be hiding in Pakistan.
  7. While the bombs were financed by smugglers based in UAE — Hajji Ahmed, Hajji Umar, Taufiq Jaliawala, Aslam Bhatti and Dawood Jatt — another accused Abu Salem was involved in the transportation of the weapons from Gujarat to Mumbai for the purpose.
  8. As per the reports, Abu Salem also handed over AK 56 rifles, 250 bullets and some hand grenades to actor Sanjay Dutt in January 1993. The reports also have it that two days later, Salem and two others went to Dutt’s house to get back the weapons and hand grenades.
  9. According to reports, most of the accused came from a poor background and were prompted to carry out the attacks as a revenge for Babri mosque demolition.
  10. Several terrorists received arms and training in Pakistan and were recruited from Dubai.
  11. As per the reports, the original plan was to attack Mumbai in April 1993 during the Shiv Jayanti celebrations. The attacks were advanced when Gul Noor Mohammad Sheikh aka Gullu, who was one of the men handpicked by Tiger Memon for training, was detained on March 9, 1993.
  12. During the investigation, Gullu revealed about his training in Pakistan and also about the conspiracy to attack Mumbai at several locations including Shiv Sena Bhavan, Bombay Stock Exchange etc. However, his claims were rubbished by the police.
  13. Sharad Pawar, who was the then Chief Minister of Maharashtra in 1993, admitted that he made false statement to prevent riots in Mumbai.

On March 12, 1993, deadly multiple blasts ripped through Mumbai killing 257 and leaving over 700 injured. The blasts destroyed properties worth Rs 27 crores. The attacks were planned by Dawood Ibrahim.