1993 Mumbai serial blasts: Four wanted men arrested by Gujarat Anti Terrorism Squad
The men, identified as Abu Bakar, Saiyad Qureshi, Mohammad Shoeb Qureshi and Mohammad Yusuf Ismail, are residents of Mumbai.
The Gujarat Anti-Terrorism Squad arrested four wanted men in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case on May 12 in Ahmedabad, reported PTI on Tuesday. They were on the run for 29 years, officials said.
All the four accused men, identified as Abu Bakar, Saiyad Qureshi, Mohammad Shoeb Qureshi and Mohammad Yusuf Ismail, are residents of Mumbai, PTI reported.
“We are investigating the exact role of the four accused in the bomb blasts and their purpose of coming to Ahmedabad,” said Amit Vishwakarma, the additional director general of Gujarat Anti Terrorism Squad, reported The Indian Express.
The case reprtains to 12 blasts across Mumbai on March 12, 1993, in which at least 257 people were killed and over 700 injured.
The explosions, orchestrated by Dawood Ibrahim, were an act of revenge against the communal riots that had swept through Mumbai in December 1992 and January 1993 after the demolition of the Babri Masjid in Uttar Pradesh’s Ayodhya on December 6, 1992.At least 900 people were killed in the riots and more than 2,000 were injured – the majority of them Muslims.
The accused men were arrested in the Sardarnagar area of Ahmedabad on a tip-off, Vishwakarma said.
“To hide their real identity, they had prepared passports using forged documents,” he said, according to PTI. “A preliminary probe established that these four are wanted in the 1993 Mumbai serial blast case.”
The officer said that all the four accused men had forged Indian passports.
“Abu Bakar was using the identity of Javed Basha from Karnataka, Saiyyad Qureshi was using the false name of Saiyyad Sharif from Chennai in Tamil Nadu, Shoib Qureshi was using the name of Saiyyad Yasin from Karnataka and Yusuf Bhatka posed as Yusuf Ismail from Mumbai,” Vishwakarma said, according to The Indian Express.
The men had allegedly travelled to Pakistan for weapons training before the Mumbai blasts, the officer said. They had left India after the terror attack, he said.
The men allegedly worked in Mumbai smuggler Mohammad Dosa’s gang for a decade from 1980 to 1990.
“They also got in touch with globally designated terrorist Dawood Ibrahim and in February 1993, they first travelled to the Middle East and met Ibrahim,” Vishwakarma added. “Upon a directive from him, they then travelled to Pakistan illegally to get weapons and for improvised explosives training with the help of Pakistani intelligence agency ISI.”
The four accused men were reportedly also on Interpol’s Red Corner Notice list on the Central Bureau of Investigation’s request. The notice is considered equivalent to an international arrest warrant.