1993 Mumbai Blasts: Retired Major Goes On Hunger Strike For Recognition 31 Years After Defusing RDX Bomb In Dadar

1993 Mumbai Blasts: Retired Major Goes On Hunger Strike For Recognition 31 Years After Defusing RDX Bomb In Dadar

On March 12, 1993, Mumbai saw one of the most destructive bomb blasts that targeted 12 locations across the city. These blasts shook the city to its core killing over 250 people and leaving around 1400 people injured.

Dhairya GajaraUpdated: Thursday, March 14, 2024, 09:33 PM IST
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Retired Major Goes On Hunger Strike |

Mumbai: Saving hundreds of lives by defusing an RDX bomb, retired major returned back to the same location after 31 years, to sit on a hunger strike for the recognition he deserves. 76-year-old Vasant Jadav had defused a live bomb on March 14, 1993 in Dadar, which was a part of the serial bomb blasts in Mumbai.

On March 12, 1993, Mumbai saw one of the most destructive bomb blasts that targeted 12 locations across the city. These blasts shook the city to its core killing over 250 people and leaving around 1400 people injured.

Vasant Jadhav, 45 years old at that time, had just retired from the Indian Army as a major and was serving as the deputy commissioner of security with the bomb detection and disposal squad of the Mumbai international airport. As the blasts were getting out of control, Jadhav was called in for help by the Mumbai Police on special request.

After missing death from a couple of metres away in one of the blasts near the passport office in Worli, Jadhav had successfully destroyed an unexploded hand grenade on the Mahim Causeway which was logged towards Fishermen Colony by the terrorists.

Two days later, Jadhav was again called in by the police after a doctor informed about a suspected scooter parked outside his dispensary in Dadar.

In a similar modus operandi of scooter bombs like the blasts of March 12, police found a live bomb laden with 12 kg of RDX. As the bomb squad of Mumbai police was sceptical about defusing the bomb, police sent an express emergency request to Jadhav to attend the time bomb.

Even when the Mumbai airport was on a red alert following the blasts, Jadhav decided to attend the emergency for the larger good of the city. With his three team leaders, Jadhav reached the spot on Naigaon Crossroads and started analysing the triggering mechanism used in the bomb which was meant to blast before two days.

Since the area was thickly populated with public and private properties nearby, Jadhav could not let the bomb blast even with suppression, leaving the only option with him was to neutralise the bomb.

“I started digging out RDX gram by gram from the blind bomb and reached the time pencil placed inside. Since it was the main triggering mechanism, it could not be disturbed or else the bomb could blast at that very moment. We were able to pull out the trigger and transported the RDX to Vikhroli, where I destroyed it with my own hands,” Jadhav added.

The operation which went on for nine hours, was successfully concluded saving lives of hundreds and public utilities worth crores. Following this successful operation, Jadhav and his three subordinates were recommended for prestigious national awards.

All three team leaders, who were army officers, were awarded with Sena Medal but Jadhav, who led the operation, never received recognition for his brave deed.

Jadhav had retired from the army two months before the bomb blasts and had joined the bomb squad governed by the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security. Since he was not an army officer anymore, he was not eligible for the Sena Medal. Therefore the Ministry of Civil Aviation recommended the President’s Police Medal for Gallantry to be awarded to Jadhav.

However, the recommendation was rejected by the Ministry of Home Affairs without providing any reason. Till date Jadhav has submitted 336 grievances to the president, prime minister, home minister and civil aviation and has received different reasons for rejections every time.

“I am not demanding an award but I am exercising my right of equal treatment before the law under Article 14. If my team members received their share of recognition, why am I facing this discrimination? Instead of receiving the due credit for the gallantry act I performed, I have been receiving insulting and humiliating replies from the MHA making me feel like a criminal.”

Commemorating the 31st anniversary of the brave act on Thursday, Jadhav returned to the same place to sit on a hunger strike against the injustice caused to him.

The retired major sat at the exact spot where the scooter with bomb was parked, along with a hoarding and distributed pamphlets to people passing by, with a wish that someday he will receive his fair share of recognition for his courageous act.

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