Was this just before the 1993 bomb blasts? If it was, it then explains something that happened to me in 1993. I was flying to London from Mumbai in Feb 93 and I was somewhat surprised when a cop at the exit desk asked if was going to Pakistan and then referred to some "bhenchods" who need to go to Pakistan. Maybe he thought I was a Paki. I was a fresh returned RNRI at that time with a permanent permit to reside in the UK and did not understand the nuances and had no idea what might have been happening in Mumbai.
As a side story unrelated to later events our BAe 747 had a breakdown of 3 out of 4 generators over Karachi for which we returned to Mumbai, spent a few hours on board and we were then taken to hotels. Incidentally, I got a room in Sea Rock Hotel. I spent a few weeks in the UK and returned. Some months later were the 1993 bombs blasts - one of which was at the Sea Rock Hotel. I always heard that the blasts were revenge and never understood what was being avenged. Looks like Thackray could not stop that.
brief history of events in in late 80s and early 90s as follows..
1. It started with Shah Bano case verdict which was subverted by a majority government to appease muslim sentiments. The Ram janma Bhumi movement started again after this event.
2. Earlier, Mumbai's underworld was split into Varadarajan Mudaliar faction and Haji Mastan faction which was later passed on to Dawood.
3. One of the CM's of MH in early 80s, Abdul Rehman Antulay, who was a convicted extortionist from same region as Dawood (Konkani Muslims of Raigad, converted by Siddis of Murud Janjira, You may wiki about Siddi clan). It does not take Sherlock to guess who was providing muscle to A R Antulay for his activities. In turn, Haji Mastan group got a shot in arm
4. MH-INC was in shambles when Sharad Pawar rebelled against Rajiv and formed a separate party named Progessevist democratic party (Purogaami Lokshahi dal).
5. Janta party was split and BJP was established. Pramod Mahajan engineered coalition of Shivsena an BJP in 1984-85 when they went on to win Municipal corporation elections of Mumbai and Thane.
6. After this Sena-BJP coalition, INC government targeted Varadarajan Mudaliar gang and finished him off from Mumbai. ACP. Y.C.Pawar (a celebrated personality in MH) was instrumental in this. Meanwhile, they left Haji-Dawood gang intact. Varadabhai was supposedly on very good terms with Balasaheb (Varadabhai was a madrasi Yandu-gundu, Lungiwala - All the epithets conferred to South Indians by BT).
7. RJB movement was picking steam. So were activities of dawood and his money laundering in real estate, smuggling and bollywood. The religious zeal of Muslims in Mumbai and MH was systematically being fanned by sources which elude me. Mumbai is cash cow and one who controls Mumbai gets access to her riches.
8. For whatever it is worth, Varadarajan was instrumental in protecting Hindus, celebrating their festivals etc and in turn indirectly helping them to organize. When this cover was taken away, there was no means to organize Hindus. It is here (around 1986) that Balasaheb overtly stepped in on Hindutva issue. As I said earlier and on other occasions, all the Maharashtrian leaders use the phrase "Maharashtra Dharma" which was coined by Samartha Ramdas Swami while addressing Shivaji. This Maharashtra dharma is nothing else but Sanatana dharma OR as it is called, Hindutva. BT had retaliated in 1970s against Muslim miscreants of Bhivandi out of this Maharashtra dharma, when there was no overt affiliation for the Hindutva issue.
9. Around this time, (after 1987) the street namaz started. It was symbolism of triumph that Mullahs had scored on Indian union (on Shah bano case). The slogans of "has ke liya pakistan, lad ke lenge Hindustan" were openly chanted during these namaz offerings. What was police doing? Nothing...This is the time when Maha Aarti started on street. It grew in fervor in 1989-90-91 as RJB movement increased its tempo.
10. In December 1992, Babri was demolished and small Ram Mandir built at the site. Series of targeted violent attacks started on Hindus from Muslim miscreants. They desecrated a Ganesha temple in nirmal nagar (Ironic, they chose to "Begin" their activity by destroying ganesha temple - A god of auspicious beginnings) and violent attacks on Hindus started.
11. Violence continued from 7th to 15th of december and was brought under control when police stepped in. Media was criticizing police for excessive use of fire power since most of the people shot by police where Muslims.
12. Things were relatively quite until 7th and 8th of January when few mill workers were burnt alive followed by massacre of one entire Hindu family in Radhabai Chawl. Meanwhile, BT wrote his most famous editorial "Hinduni aakramak vhayla pahije (Hindus should become aggressive)". The retaliation from Hindus started on 8th of January after Radhabai Chawl Masscre and continued until 20th. Army was deployed on 11th of January after which situation was brought under control.
13. It is on 9th of January when Tiger Memon's warehouse was burnt by Shivsainiks. He later escaped to Pakistan along with many others from Mumbai and they carried out March 1993 Mumbai bombings in retaliation. This was carried out by ISI and Dawood.
14. There were many suspicious types trying to "visit" pakistan in Jan-Feb of 1993. This is the backdrop of your "encounter" with the cop on exit desk. Cops were under immense pressure from 1987 to ignore and not to act. Finishing off Varadarajan, while letting Haji-Dawood intact was stupidest (or deliberate, I do not know) move of state and central MHA. Same happened post 1993 bomb blasts. The gangs of Pujari, Amar Naik (although he was supported by SS) and then Chhota Rajan were finished off by Mumbai Police. Dawood was left untouched. If Varadarajan were present in his full strength, OR if Haji-Dawood too were finished off with same efficiency by the establishment, things would not have gone so far.
15. BT and SS were instrumental in protecting Hindus in earlier phase of riots, and also in "counter attack" in January phase of riots. You can find all these details in Sri Krishna commission report.
16. The rise of BT is on interesting cusp. One of biggest funeral-procession which Mumbai witnessed before today (about 4 million people came today) was funeral of Veer Savarkar in 1966. Savarkar's death was a setback to Hindutva movement. Immediately after Savarkar's departure, Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay died in 1968. This is the backdrop of emergence of Shivsena. They spoke of same issues but on local level. The title of "Hindu Hruday Samrat" first belonged to Savarkar. It was given to BT by the people..
17. Now that the cycle has completed one more turn, BT replaced Savarkar in Western MH and kept the flame burning. Who will replace BT - This is the million dollar question.