Terrorist Attacks on Mumbai – 1993 till date


On 12th March 1993, at 1:30 pm a powerful car bomb exploded in the basement of the Bombay Stock Exchange  building. The 28-storey office building housing the exchange was severely damaged, and many nearby office buildings also suffered some damage. About 50 persons were killed following the explosion. Some 30 minutes later, another car bomb exploded elsewhere in the city and from 1:30 pm to 3:40 pm, there was a series of 13 bomb explosions (the Serial Bombing) throughout Mumbai.


Three hotels, Hotel Sea Rock, Hotel Juhu Centaur, and Hotel Airport Centaur, were targeted by suitcase bombs left in rooms booked by the perpetrators. Banks, the regional passport office, hotels, the Air India building, and a major shopping complex were also hit. Bombs exploded at Zaveri Bazaar, in the area opposite Century Bazaar, Katha Bazaar, Shiv Sena Bhavan, and Plaza Theatre. A jeep-bomb at the Century Bazaar had exploded earlier.


Grenades were also thrown at Sahar International Airport and at Fishermen’s Colony. A double decker bus was badly damaged in one of the explosions and that single incident accounted for the greatest loss of life – perhaps up to ninety people were killed.


The official death toll was 257 with 1,400 others injured. Several days later, unexploded car bombs were discovered at a railway station.


Ten years later, on 25 August 2003, two large and destructive bombs left in taxis exploded in south Mumbai – the Gateway of India and Zaveri Bazar in the busy Kalbadevi area – killing 52 people, again entirely Hindus and wounding more than a hundred others.


In July 2006, serial train bombings in Mumbai shook the city once again.


On 26th November 2008, several militants, armed with AK-47 rifles, grenades and low intensity bombs, invaded Mumbai from the sea and carried out coordinated attacks on several key sites within India’s financial hub.


Ten simultaneous attacks occurred, targeting the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) railway station, Taj Mahal Hotel, the Oberoi and Trident Hotel, Café Leopold, Nariman House and the Cama Hospital. 174 people were reportedly killed while 294-300 sustained injuries.


There were also reports of firing at the JW Marriot Hotel in Juhu. Successively, two bomb blasts also occurred in the residential areas, Vile Parle and in Mazgaon respectively.


Significantly, whilst in the case of the serial bomb blasts (1993) there was an angry and violent community reaction and civil strife, no such behaviour was observed in the case of the train blasts in 2003 and 2006.


There was anger but it was contained and directed towards the inadequate relief related issues.


The 26thNovember 2008 attack left Mumbai stunned and overwhelmed. All communities became one in grief, helplessness and anger. However, there were no untoward incidents or any communal backlash. Communities were disciplined in expressing their sorrow and anger without creating law and order problems.


This article contains an excerpt from the book on Community Resiliency Indicator (CRI) published by the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM).


To know more about Community Resiliency Indicator (CRI), click here.