The 1993 Bombay bombings were a series of 12 terrorist bombings that took place in Bombay, Maharashtra, on 12 March 1993. The single-day attacks resulted in 257 fatalities and 1,400 injuries. The attacks were coordinated by Dawood Ibrahim, leader of the Mumbai-based international organised crime syndicate D-Company. Ibrahim was believed to have ordered and helped organize the bombings through his subordinates Tiger Memon and Yakub Memon.
On 12 September 2006, the special TADA court convicted four members of the Memon family on charges of conspiring and abetting acts of terror. They face jail terms from five years to life imprisonment, that would be determined based on the severity of their crime. Three other members of the Memon family were acquitted with the judge giving them the benefit of the doubt.
Dawood Ibrahim, believed to have masterminded the terrorist attacks, is the Don of the Mumbai organised crime syndicate D-Company. He is suspected of having connections to terrorist elements such as al-Qaeda and its leader, Osama bin Laden, as well as Lashkar-e-Toiba, and was declared a terrorist by the governments of India and the United States in 2003. Ibrahim is now wanted by Interpol as a part of the worldwide terror syndicate of Osama bin Laden. The Bush administration in the United States imposed sanctions on Ibrahim in 2006.
The talk these days in Bombay often veers around to how Chief Minister Sharad Pawar plans to convert Maharashtra's capital into the Singapore of India. Partly in pursuit of this goal, American consultants McKinsey & Company were commissioned to suggest how best the state could capitalise on the opportunities thrown up by liberalisation. McKinsey's report mentions several drawbacks which prevent the metropolis from becoming another financial centre like Hong Kong or Singapore. One of the problems is the scarcity and high cost of land.The talk these days in Bombay is also about how people are getting killed over land. Last month, at least three businessmen were murdered in real estate related crimes, while two other builders had close shaves with underworld gangs. The most sensational, of course, was the mafia-style killing of millowner Sunit Khatau, gunned down in his Mercedes Benz at a crossing between the race-course, where he spent a great deal of his money, and the textile mill area, where he made it. He was planning to sell the Khatau Mackanji Mills' 13-acre plot in Byculla for a suspected Rs 300-crore. Gangster Arun Gawli had coerced Khatau workers into accepting the sale, while a developer linked to Dubai-based don Dawood Ibrahim - who is known to have major stakes in the real estate, hotels, film and aviation businesses - was eyeing the plot.But there were other dramatic killings which did not make it to prime time news. Barely four days after Khatau's murder, for instance, real estate developer Jayantilal Maganlal Patel alias Biscuitwala who, with underworld collaboration, had parlayed a small biscuit shop into a grandiose 50,000 sq ft commercial plaza worth an estimated Rs 75 crore, was shot dead outside his Santa Cruz home. Police arrested a Juhu Beach hotelier who had failed to recover a substantial loan from Biscuitwala, and discovered that both the dead developer and the hotelier were linked to Dawood.
In the union elections held in April this year, his men terrorised workers' representatives from 54 mills to elect a pliant Shankarrao Jadhav as president and Gawli's nephew Sachin Ahir as one of the secretaries.Police suspect Khatau paid Gawli an advance of Rs 3 crore and promised 5 per cent of the sale price. And Khatau informed BIFR that the plot will be sold for around Rs 70 crore when its actual worth is estimated at Rs 300 crore. There was little risk of the property being appropriated by the Income Tax Department for misdeclaring the sale price. Most textile mills avoid notifying Income Tax authorities of property sale prices - either because the developer is taken on as a partner or, as in the case of a sick mill like Khatau, because the deal is finalised before the BIFR. As a result, huge amounts of black money are generated to pay for kickbacks. Charges labour leader Datta Samant: "Mill land sales are always undervalued. The Income Tax is kept out and the Congress(I) collects its share. But gangsters are used to silence workers."Besides the real estate business, underworld focus is also shifting increasingly to trade unions. Apart from virtually taking over the RMMS with Congress(I) support, Gawli's men have also been involved in bloody confrontations with the Shiv Sena's militant Bhartiya Kamgar Sena in companies such as the Oberoi Hotels and Khambatta Airways.In fact, Bombay's criminal gangs are believed to have links in all political parties and within law enforcement agencies, provoking Julio Ribeiro, who has served as city police commissioner, to comment in an article: "The unholy nexus between politicians, police and criminals, which has led to the criminalisation of politics and the politicisation of crime and of the police, works to the benefit of all three."Dominant Don
Bombay has always been the city where the money - and the underworld action - is. As it experiences yet another property boom, it is not just NRI investors who are on the lookout for a good deal. Bombay's gangsters have unimpeachable contacts. And they may even be acquiring a kind of public acceptance. When a consumer guidance group conducted a survey in a suburban high school, 70 per cent of the students opted for a career in crime. As one Standard IX student put it: "Good money, and good fun." The crime warlords need not even worry about arms training for the new recruits - nearly 300 fully-trained men from the Light Armed Constabulary of the Bombay Police have deserted in recent years, and nobody knows how many have ended up in criminal gangs. Clearly, the future of the city is assured - both as the financial, and the crime capital of India.
Acting on inputs that a Nigerian national was headed to Anik bus depot on Chembur-Sewree road in Wadala to sell the contraband, a team of crime branch officials laid a trap in the area, officials said. Around 2.50am, they spotted the man carrying a bag near the spot, they added. 2b1af7f3a8