Zaveri Bazaar has witnessed terrorist attacks twice before, possibly because it is the city’s most famous jewellery market, and is also densely populated.
The first attack took place on March 12, 1993, when a powerful blast killed 17 persons and injured 57 others. It was among a series of 13 blasts in Mumbai that claimed the lives of 257 people and left 713 injured.
The second attack took place eight years ago, on August 25, 2003. It took place simultaneously with another blast at the Gateway of India. The twin blasts killed 54 persons and injured 244.On October 28, 2003 the police arrested three persons for planting the powerful explosives at Gateway.
The accused were identified as Mahim residents Sayed Mohammed Hanif, 42, his wife Fahimida, 39, and their associate Arshat Shafi Ahmed Ansari, 28. The attacks were allegedly carried out to “avenge” the death of Muslims killed during the 2002 Gujarat riots that broke out in the wake of the Godhra train carnage.
The police said the conspiracy was hatched in Dubai and was executed by Zahid Yusuf Patni, the chief of a Lashkar-e-Taiba module in Mumbai.
Later, Patni turned approver against Hanif, Fahmida and Ansari.
In August 2009, a Prevention of Terrorist Activities (POTA) court sentenced all three to death for their complicity in the twin blasts as well as in another blast in a BEST bus at Ghatkopar, in which two persons were killed.
The case for confirmation of the death sentence is currently pending before the Bombay high court.
In September 2006, a special TADA court convicted Mohammed Shoaib Mohammed Kasam Ghansar for planting an RDX-laden scooter at Zaveri Bazaar on March 12, 1993.
Ghansar has also been awarded the death sentence.