TOI
TOI

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This story is from September 18, 2006

Century Bazaar bomb: Accused was a driver

MUMBAI: In his confessional statement to a deputy commissioner of police, Century Bazaar blast accused Abdul Gani Ismail Turk, whose case is likely to come up this week, said he was a driver by profession and worked in Saudi Arabia before coming back to Mumbai to drive a taxi. In 1989, he was arrested by the customs for smuggling gold and spent eight months in jail.
Turk, accused number 11 in the 1993 blasts case, first met those involved in the terror incident when he was working in Saudi Arabia and was later introduced to Tiger Memon, who was a big-time gold smuggler at that time.
After Babri Masjid's demolition in 1992 and the rioting that followed, Memon asked Turk to help with the landing of arms and ammunition at Shekhadi in February 1993. Turk helped to bring them to Mumbai.
Once in Mumbai, Memon told Turk and others connected with the serial blasts that the riots had led to the killing of Muslim women and children and the arms and ammunition that had been brought in would help to extract revenge.
In March 1993, only a few days before the blasts, Turk accompanied Memon and a few other men to Mahad where Memon
taught them how to fire automatic weapons and lob grenades. When a few passers-by heard the firing they were told there was a film shooting in progress which was causing all the noise.
In March 11, 1993, Turk went to Al Hussaini building in Mahim where the explosives were packed and timers put on them.
On the day of the blasts, he drove a Commander jeep to a spot at Worli and parked it there around noon. After that he went home to Andheri and laid low for a few days while investigations began into the serial bomb blasts which took place across the city.

The bomb, which Turk had planted near Century Bazaar, caused the maximum damage. Over 120 people, many of them travelling in a double-decker BEST bus which bore the brunt of the explosion, died in the attack.
Turk had later retracted the confession but he is still liable for a stiff sentence on charges of conspiracy and murder.
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