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1993 Bombay Bombings: The blasts that caused rift in Mumbai underworld

Updated on: 12 March,2024 12:20 AM IST  |  Mumbai
mid-day online correspondent |

In the 1993 serial bomb blasts in Mumbai, 257 people and 1,400 injured

1993 Bombay Bombings: The blasts that caused rift in Mumbai underworld

Mumbai terror attacks. File Pic/AFP

On March 12 of 1993, India's financial capital, Mumbai witnessed a major terror attack which shook entire country's social fabric forever. Direct results were seen in the underworld as the serial bombings caused a massive rift in D-Company, which was the most powerful criminal organisation in the Mumbai underworld, headed by Dawood Ibrahim.

What exactly happened?

On March 12, 1993 Mumbai was hit with 12 serial bomb blasts. The single-day attack killed 257 people and injured 1,400. It was proven later that the attacks were coordinated by Dawood Ibrahim, and it is believed that he ordered and organised the bombings through his subordinates Tiger Memon and Yakub Memon. The attacks had followed the widespread communal rioting throughout the nation, including major Hindu-Muslim riots in Mumbai after the Babri Masjid demolition in Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh. 

The 12 locations where bombs exploded included basement of Bombay Stock Exchange, Corporation Bank's Mandvi branch, regional passport office, Air India building, Zaveri Bazaar, Century Bazaar, three renowned hotels, among other places. While, grenades were thrown at Mumbai International Airport. 

All crucial locations in the city were targeted which shook the city. 

Split in D-Company

The bombings infuriated Dawood Ibrahim's right hand, Chhota Rajan. Rajan spit from the D-Company taking along with him most of the Hindu members of the organisation. As Rajan had left the D-Company on the lines of communal differences, Chhota Rajan's gang came to be called as a Hindu gang against the D-Company Muslim gang.

The two gangs had several shootouts and frequent clashes for years ahead, as a result killing many more people. Reportedly, in 1994, Rajan lured one of Dawood's aide, Phillu Khan alias Bakhtiyar Ahmed Khan to a hotel room in Bangkok and tortured him to death.As per reports, Rajan's men shot down 10 people involved in the 1993 Mumbai bombings.

In September 2000, Dawood tracked down Rajan in Bangkok. Dawood's aide Chhota Shakeel was deployed to kill Rajan, however the assasination failed. Shakeel fired at Rajan's aide and his wife, but failed to aim the shot at his main target.

This failed assassination attempt proved costly for Dawood. Rajan's associates tracked down and shot dead Vinod- an hotelier in 2001 in Mumbai, as well as Sunil Soans – another Dawood associate. Both Vinod and Sunil had provided information to Dawood's associates of Rajan's whereabouts.

The clashes between the two gangs persisted for years. The terrorrism affected the life of innocent citizens who lived under fearful atmosphere in the city. However, the Mumbai police cracked down the rivalry to some extent, bringing some peace in the city.

At present, Dawood Ibrahim  who was in 2003 designated as global terrorist by United States, is not under arrest. As per several reports, Dawood resides in Karachi, Pakistan, however Pakistan government denies it. While, Chhota Rajan is logged in an Indian jail after he was extradited from Bali in 2015, following his arrest by Indonesian police.

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