The verdict of the ill-fated 2006 Mumbai serial blasts may bring peace in many restless minds, but the wounds will take a long way to heal.
9 years on, but the memories and the visual pain remain etched in the mind of the survivors and the families of the dead. But for those, who are remotely related to the incident, these details will refresh the bitter incident, to the extent of observing it as a black day in the history of mankind.
But has the story died? Never, prove evidences and investigations. So here are some lesser known facts about the blasts and the investigations that follow :
March 2006: The conspiracy dates back to this month when LeT's Azam Cheema masterminds the blasts at his mansion in Bahawalpur with two modules of SIMI and LeT and their leaders.
May 2006: Close to 50 people were sent to the LeT's training camp and all of them were trained in bomb making and resisting police interrogation.
June 25 to July 10: The militants were helped in crossing the border in groups from Nepal, Bangladesh and Gujarat's Kachch. These bombers then took shelter in various places of Mumbai-two were lodged in Malad, four in Bandra, two in Borivali and three in Mumbra. Following this, RDX was brought in from Pakistan via Kandla, Ammonium Nitrate was bought in Mumbai and eight pressure cookers from 2 different shops in Mumbai.
The bombs were made with 2-2.5 kg RDX and 3.5-4 kg ammonium nitrate and then were transported to a different location.
On July 11, the terrorists divide themselves in seven groups, each group carrying one pressure cooker in a black rexine bag covered with newspapers. The bombers get down at the Churchgate station and take the subway that connects the platform to board train.
Hard case to crack
The ensuing investigation was as critical as it was complicated. POlice had to investigate from the scrap as all the evidences had charred in the trains, except for the cooker handles that were common to all the bogies. Meanwhile, police came to know about the ammonium nitrate that was used.
ATS officer KPS Raghuvanshi split police teams to 7 for seven blasts and started collecting information from the IB and the RAW. Police detained over 400 people, but these were useless leads.
The first ray of hope came when Mumtaz Chowdhury to brother in law, Kamal Ahmed Ansar at Basupatti, Bihar. The RDX was traced to Faisal Sheikh's house in Bandra in a very unique way. Cotton swab methods revealed that the bombs were stored at his house.
Many were Indian cospirators but are said to have been killed in the blasts. Some escaped to Pakistan.
While Pakistan denied its role in the blasts, it's relations with India begun to attain a rough patch.