One man told all. Without him, the police would never have unravelled the whys and hows or unmasked the conspirators behind the serial blasts that killed 257 people in Mumbai on March 12, 1993.
Jan Khan Usman Khan, alias Badshah Khan, now lives under another name with police protection somewhere in the western suburbs of Mumbai, apparently involved in the real estate business.
Special Public Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam told HT that Khan’s “disclosures were important in furthering the investigation and proving the conspiracy.”
In the years before the blasts, Usman used to dabble in realty in Santacruz and was an old hand in the Memon clan’s smuggling syndicate. “He was an educated person and hence worked as a mafia manager to Memon,” said present ATS chief Rakesh Maria. Before the blasts were planned, Khan was part of a group that was sent to Pakistan for training in handling arms and explosives.
On his return, Khan was part of the first conspiracy meeting convened by Tiger Memon at hotel Big Splash at Alibaug in late December 1992. Another meeting followed at the Bandra residence of Mubina Bhayana, Tiger Memon’s foster sister. It was attended by a core group of Memon’s confidants, including Badshah Khan.
Khan was part of the team that recced at least six of the 13 places chosen to plant the bombs. And was among those who assembled the bombs at Tiger Memon’s residence at Al Hussaini building in Mahim (West).
Khan’s final mission was to hurl hand grenades and open fire at corporators at the BMC building on March 12. That morning, he set out with an associate, but the duo panicked when they heard a minor explosion at Worli. They abandoned the car and fled.
Sources said Khan first fled to Uttar Pradesh, then to Rajasthan and finally ended up in Delhi, tired and broke. It was there that the Mumbai Police’s crime branch arrested him from a hotel.