Ten years ago, a series of coordinated bomb explosions went off within 11 minutes at different locations in Mumbai, India’s financial capital. This heinous act of terrorism sent shockwaves through the country, even eliciting international attention.
On July 13, 2011, deadly blasts struck the jewellery street of Zaveri Bazaar, the posh Opera House district and the populated middle-class neighbourhood of Dadar, between 18:54 and 19:06 IST. The attack killed 26 people and injured over 130.
Mumbai has been targeted by terrorists multiple times since the early 1990’s, affecting thousands of lives irreversibly. In the wake of the blasts, there was national and international pressure to strengthen Mumbai’s security and a push to safeguard the lives of its citizens.
Timeline of events
13 July, 2011
18:54 IST - 19:06 IST (11 minutes)
The first blast exploded at 18:54 in Zaveri Bazaar, a densely populated area of workplaces connected with the diamond-trade industry, where the device was planted on a motorcycle. This is the third time the jewellery street was targeted for an attack, earlier two blasts having happened in 1993 and in 2003.
The second device was planted in a tiffin box in the upscale Opera House locality which exploded at 18:55. The third device was placed on an electric pole at the at a bus stand in a school area in Dadar and exploded at 19:06.
The Home Ministry classified the bomb blasts as a terrorist act and dispatched a National Investigation Agency (NIA) team to the bomb site. Investigations suggested the use of multiple IED explosives in the blasts.
15 July 2011
A NIA team visited Ahmedabad to meet a suspect who was arrested by the Crime Branch in connection with the 2008 Ahmedabad bombings.
16 July 2011
The possibility of a suicide bomber was ruled out taking forensic opinion into account.
4 August 2011
Home Minister P. Chidambaram suggested indications of involvement of a home-grown terror module in the blasts.
9 August 2011
Arrest of suspect, who claimed to have stolen the bike on which explosion device was planted in Zaveri Bazaar blast.
CCTV footage showed someone placing the scooter at the spot of the explosion and walking off.
23 January 2012
Mumbai Police claimed that it had solved the Mumbai Blasts case with the arrests of two suspects – Naqi Ahmed Wasi Ahmed Sheikh (22) and Nadeem Akhtar Ashfaq Sheikh (23).
Further investigations revealed that the two Pakistani bombers, named Waqqas and Tabrez, staying in Byculla used as many as 18 SIM cards and six handsets.
The duo received SIM cards from the co-accused Naqi Ahmed, following which he admitted his role in the blasts and also admitted working with Indian Mujahideen's founder member Yasin Bhatkal in arranging accommodations for the bombers.
25 May 2012
Maharashtra ATS filed a charge sheet against Naqee Ahmed, Nadeem Shaikh, Kanwar Pathrija and Haroon Naik who were all put under arrest.
Additionally, the charge sheet named six others including Indian Mujahideen mastermind Yasin Bhatkal and other suspects as wanted accused on the run.
4 February 2014
Maharashtra ATS was handed over the custody of Indian Mujahideen mastermind Yasin Bhatkal for probing the 2011 Mumbai Bombings Case.
16 July 2014
Mumbai ATS arrested Abdul Mateen Fakki from Goa’s Dabolim Airport, when he arrived from Dubai by flight.
He was accused of financing the terrorist operation by passing money through Hawala sources to Indian Mujahideen co-founder Yasin Bhatkal.