“Ten Explosions rocked Bombay that day, taking place with almost metronomic precision at short intervals. Between 1.28 and 3.35 p.m. bombs had gone off across Bombay, the first time any city in the world was subject to serial blasts…” -Black Friday
It was the blasts that shook the nation
The 1993 Bombay bombings on 12 March 1993, was a well-coordinated attack, and considered as one of the most destructive bomb explosions in India. This single day attack resulted in over 250 fatalities and over 700 injured. The mastermind behind these attacks is Dawood Ibrahim who controls the underworld syndicate D–Company. Two decades later, after a long judicial proceeding with over a hundred witnesses, the Supreme Court of India convicted those involved in the blasts. However, till date the two main accused Dawood Ibrahim and his associate Tiger Memon are still on the loose. The Maharashtra state government executed Yakub Memon (brother of Tiger Memon), on 30 July 2015, who was also found guilty.
Black Friday is Hussain Zaidi’s chilling account of these Bombay bombings. I consider it a one of a kind book that brings in the minutest of details- the blasts, the aftermath and the investigation that followed. Well-researched, it lays out authentic facts, woven into a gripping non-fiction piece to read.
The compelling read of the mammoth conspiracy
It was an exhaustive operation that spanned across countries. From the sketching of the plan, the resources, the training of vulnerable youth in Pakistan, the transportation, the confessions, the Bollywood angle, corruption and above all the religious fervor and insanity of the perpetrators. This crime diary brings out startling truths, leaving you angry. A striking feature of the book is the fact that it doesn’t have one central protagonist, yet, it manages to grip you. Well-paced, it brings out the magnanimity of the macabre and sinister plan. The detailed, yet subtle narrative is compelling and reads more like a novel.
Zaidi has succeeded in pacing out the episodes, in order of occurrences, in a seamless fashion. Black Friday is definitely a book worth reading, for all those who love the genre of crime, mafia and investigation. Don’t expect any suspense elements; though the book does put you in an introspection mode post that last page!
Does religion really warrant killing of one another? What does it take to respect one another’s belief?