Nearly six years after twin blasts at the Gateway of India and Zaveri Bazaar killed 53 people and injured at least 150 others, a court
on Monday convicted three of the accused for the carnage, which was reportedly in retaliation for the 2002 communal riots in Gujarat.
|March 12, 1993: 13 co-ordinated bomb explosions killed 257 people and injured 700. The 1993 attacks are believed to be retaliation for the Babri Mosque demolition.|
|December 6, 2002: A blast in a BEST bus near Ghatkopar station killed two people and injured 28. The bombing occurred on the tenth anniversary of the demolition of the Babri Mosque in Ayodhya.|
|January 27, 2003: A bicycle bomb exploded near the Vile Parle station in Mumbai, killing one person and injuring 25.|
|March 13, 2003: A day after the tenth anniversary of the 1993 Bombay bombings, a bomb exploded in a train compartment near the Mulund station, killing 10 people and injuring 70.|
|July 28, 2003: A blast in a BEST bus in Ghatkopar killed 4 people and injured 32.|
|August 25, 2003: Two bombs exploded in South Mumbai, one near the Gateway of India and the other at Zaveri Bazaar in Kalbadevi. At least 44 people were killed and 150 injured.|
|July 11 2006: Seven bombs exploded within 11 minutes on the Suburban Railway in Mumbai. The blasts killed 209 people and over 700 were left injured. According to Mumbai Police, the bombings were carried out by Lashkar-e-Taiba and Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI).|
Coming before 26/11 and India figuring prominently on the global jehadi map, the August 25, 2003 blasts were the work of a more homegrown terrorist. The motive: vengeance for the killing of Muslims during the 2002 Gujarat carnage.
Special Judge M.R. Puranik held Sayeed Mohammed Hanif (46), his wife Fehmida (45), and their aide Ashrat Ansari (32) guilty of planting the bombs in taxis. The court will sentence them on August 4.
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Special public prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam had argued that the conspiracy to trigger a chain of explosions was hatched by the LeT in Dubai when it indoctrinated three Indians working there, Hanif, Nasir, and another person who later turned approver in the case. In his confession, the approver had said he had introduced Hanif to Ansari, a childhood friend, who had wanted revenge for the Gujarat riots. Hanif had learnt to make bombs while he was in Dubai, the approver had said.
Nasir, a resident of Hyderabad who was killed in an encounter with the Mumbai police after the blasts, Hanif and Ansari made the bombs that were used.
The prime witness in the case was Shivnarayan Yadav, the driver of a taxi in which the bombs were planted. He survived because he was not near the taxi when the bombs went off. The description he gave about the accused led to their arrest.
Along with those convicted the police had also arrested Farheen, daughter of Hanif and Fehmida, Rizwan Ladoowala and Hassan Batterywala.
They were all discharged from the case.