1993 Mumbai Blasts: When Sharad Pawar made up a thirteenth blast

On 12 March 1993, a series of bomb explosions rocked Mumbai. According to some news reports, the death toll was over 300 and the number of injured stood at 1,400.

But day before the blast, then Chief Minister Sharad Pawar had instructed a meeting of police inspectors and senior officers at the Police Club: "I don't want Beirut replicated in Bombay." But unfortunately, the very next day the city witnessed a terror attack. Mumbai Bomb blasts, as the terror attack is widely known, is the largest coordinated terror attack to have taken place on Indian soil in terms of the number of casualties. It is also the first one where RDX was used as an explosive material.

Later after the attack, then Chief Minister Sharad Pawar announced that blasts had occurred in 13 places, but in reality, there had been 12 blasts in total.

So why did Sharad Pawar lie?

As per a report in India Today, Sharad Pawar, the then CM of Maharashtra, had rushed to the Doordarshan studio soon after the attacks and had announced that there were 13 blasts in total.

In 2006, then chief minister of Maharashtra Sharad Pawar admitted to lying about the blasts, adding a thirteenth locality - the Muslim dominated area of Musjid Bunde - to the list of the 12 places which actually suffered bomb blasts. As all 12 were Hindu-dominated areas. He was also praised by the Justice Srikrishna Commission.

As per a report in DNA, while speaking at 89th edition of the All India Marathi Literary Meet, Pawar also claimed that he was praised by the Justice Srikrishna Commission for his crafty invention.

He claimed that his lie could have saved lives because Hindus thought that Muslims were the victims too and hence communal violence was avoided. Testifying before the Srikrishna Commission, Pawar had even tried to pin the bomb blasts on LTTE. This lie also, he claimed, was told to avoid Hindu-Muslim clashes.

Locations where blasts took place:

Starting from 1:30 pm to 3:40 pm, a total of 12 bombs exploded throughout Mumbai, including at Fisherman's Colony in Mahim, Plaza Cinema, Zaveri Bazaar, Katha Bazaar, Hotel Sea Rock, Hotel Juhu Centaur, Air India building, Sahar Airpot, Worli, Cntury Bazaar, Worli, Mumbai Stock Exchange Building, Masjid-Mandvi Corporation Bank Branch and Passport office, besides BSE.

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