“Verdict proves our team did the perfect job”
The Supreme Court verdict has proved that the investigation by the Mumbai police after the 1993 bomb blasts was without any prejudice, chief of Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) of Maharashtra Rakesh Maria has said.
“A team of around 162 officers scanned 79 towns of 17 States. A charge sheet of 9392 pages was put against 123 accused, out of which 100 have been convicted. Our team did a perfect job, which has been proved after the Supreme Court verdict,” he said.
Recalling 1993, Mr. Maria, who was the Deputy Commissioner of Police (Traffic) at the time of the blasts, said it was a maroon-coloured Maruti van found in Worli area that led them to the Al-Hussaini building, which housed the Memons, the members of a family that played an important role in the blasts on March 12, claiming 257 lives and injuring 713.
“As per the original plan, Tiger Memon had planned bomb blasts all over the country on the day of Shivjayanti. However, the plan was changed when one of his men, Gul Noor Mohammad Khan, was arrested a few days before March 12. Fearing that the plan may not materialise, it was advanced and only Mumbai was targeted,” said Mr. Maria.
Yakub Memon, who has been sentenced to death by the Supreme Court, was a chartered accountant by profession and his office was burned down in the 1992-93 riots.
“It was also planned to evoke another round of riots in the aftermath of the blasts. Huge weaponry was brought in for the purpose,” he said.
The Mumbai Police recovered 3.5 tonnes of RDX, 493 hand-grenades, 71 AK-56 rifles, 13 9-mm pistols, 1150 electric detonators, 3 pencil timers and huge amount of ammunition after the blasts.
“It was for the first time that Mumbai’s underworld was used by the ISI to create unrest and also it was after the blasts that Bollywood’s connections with underworld came to the fore,” he said.Mr. Maria declined to comment on the verdict on actor Sanjay Dutt.
“The ways in which terrorists are functioning these days is completely different from the 1993 blasts. Those arrested in 1993 were mostly illiterate youngsters who were driven emotionally to committing this crime. Today, terror activities are planned by intelligent and educated minds,” he pointed out.