Mar 122010

March 12th 1993. A time when Mumbai was still Bombay. Lokhandwalla was a set of buildings in progress, where gangs regularly went to war. Where In Orbit & Hypercity Malad were rubbish dumps, when the expressway didn’t exist, when Asiatic and Akbarally’s were great malls and when Phoenix was a shut down mill !

March 12th 1993, a set of blasts that shook Mumbai to the core. Buildings blasted, people vaporized and the sense of innate security that citizens of this metropolis had torn to shreds. In all,

A series of bomb blasts ripped through 13 places in the city, killing 257 people and injuring 713. These were the first blasts in which RDX was used and the explosions were allegedly planned by underworld don Dawood Ibrahim.

This was before the 24/7 news era – and therefore the term 12/3 has not passed into popular lexicon ! No body remembers the anniversary or places flowers at key places where the bombs went off and people died

Locations attacked include (dead in brackets)

* Fisherman’s Colony in Mahim causeway[15]
* Zaveri Bazaar[12]
* Plaza Cinema[12]
* Century Bazaar[12]
* Katha Bazaar[12]
* Hotel Sea Rock[12]
* Sahar Airport[12]
* Air India Building[12]
* Hotel Juhu Centaur[12]
* Plaza Theatre near Shiv Sena HQ[16]
* Lucky Petrol near Shiv Sena HQ[16]
* Worli[17]
* Bombay Stock Exchange Building[10]
* Hotel Centaur, Santa Cruz[16]
* Area opposite of Century Bazaar[13]
* Passport Office[18]

I was a student at that time, away in London. I heard about it on the BBC. I was terrified. My dad worked in Air India Building, my brother studied at Xaviers, my mom taught at Sophia’s – all in town, and both passing the passport office en route to our home. It was a different time – no instant messaging, no net, no twitter – and the land lines were impossible to get through to …..

My mother told me about this BEST bus that was blown up near the passport office. many commuters were 12th standard students, who having finished their HSC exams were returning to their respective homes. Not enough scraps were found for last rites.

SR pointed me out to a spot next to Sena Bhavan – the site of a petrol pump – where a bomb failed to go off. Had it gone off the whole area would have been levelled .

The foot soldiers behind the blast were sentenced a few years ago. Those who planned it still run free.

The BBC’s coverage

  2 Responses to “In Memorium – 12/3 Bombay Blasts”

  1. Thank you for remembering

  2. I was in 4th standard. It was my birthday. Remember walking home from school , very excited, around 6 pm, and wondered why I was seeing so many fire engines on my Mulund street go off to the highway. Reached home and grand mom told me about what had happened. She had a phone. Had heard from my parents and uncle and aunts that everyone was fine. All I could think about were the kids whose parents didn’t return home that night. I can never forget this day.

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