Nagpur/Mumbai, July 30
Yakub Memon, convicted in the 1993 Mumbai bomb blasts, was hanged inside Nagpur Central Jail at 7 am on Thursday. A medical team pronounced him dead a short while later, and his body was sent for autopsy by a medical team from a Nagpur Government Hospital, before being cleared for the last rites.
Read: At 5 am, Supreme Court rejected petition to put off hanging
Chronology of the 1993 Mumbai blasts case
Tight security in Mumbai, Delhi
War of words over Memon's execution
Tight security arrangements were made in and around the Central Prison in Nagpur. Quick Response Teams were deployed and authorities also clamped Section 144 of the CrPC (for preventing assembly of people) last evening.
A large number of onlookers gathered at some distance outside the jail. Yakub was hanged till death in the “Fansi Yard” under the supervision of Jail Superintendent Yogesh Desai.
A team of doctors declared him dead after about half an hour of the scheduled hanging, when his body was brought down.
Chief Judicial Magistrate of Nagpur M M Deshpande was present in the Fansi Yard.
She read out the operative part of the TADA court order which awarded capital punishment to Yakub before he was made to stand on a stool and the lever pulled by the hangman.
Yakub, who was the lone convict sent to gallows in the serial blasts which claimed 257 lives across the financial capital of country in 1993, lost a series of legal battles for stay on his execution.
The body of Yakub Memon, who was hanged in Nagpur this morning for his role in the 1993 Mumbai serial bomb blasts, was handed over to his family, which flew it to Mumbai for the last rites amid tight security with city police disallowing any procession.
Security has been stepped up in Mumbai, especially in Mahim area where Yakub's family resides as well as other sensitive localities of the metropolis, and over 400 people have been detained as a preventive measure.
Quick Response Teams of the police, formed after the 26/11 terrorist attacks, have been deployed at a few places, including the Al Hussaini building where the Memon family lives and in Marine Lines, where the burial arrangements have been made.
“Yes Yakub Memon has been hanged at 7 am sharp and his body is being handed over to his family,” Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said.
Yakub's brother Suleiman and cousin Usman, who were camping in Nagpur since yesterday, received the body which was taken to airport and flown to Mumbai. The two boarded the same flight.
Suleiman had moved an application last evening to the Nagpur jail authorities requesting that the body be handed over to the family.
The request was accepted and accordingly, the body was wrapped in a 'kafan' (shroud) and placed in a tightly sealed coffin.
The Mumbai Police have not allowed Yakub’s family to carry the body in a procession and has made arrangements to perform the burial at a cemetery in Marine Lines, where heavy police force has been deployed.
“We have not permitted Yakub’s family to reach the cemetery in any procession, taking into account the law and order situation, and only those very close to the family would be taking part in his last rites,” a senior police officer said.
“We have already gathered personal details of the people who would be with Yakub’s family,” he added.
Since Yakub’s father Abdul Razzak and some other family members were buried at the Marine Lines cemetery, Yakub’s family has wished to perform his last rites there, another police officer said.
Alternative arrangements have also been made for burial at the Mahim cemetery, he said.
“We are monitoring and reviewing the security arrangements regularly,” Mumbai Police spokesperson Dhananjay Kulkarni said.
The police have detained nearly 405 people as a preventive measure to maintain law and order in the wake of Yakub's hanging.
“All the people who are detained are on police record, who might disturb the communal harmony or create disturbance in the city,” said DCP (Detection) Dhananjay Kulkarni.
The police are also keeping a close eye on any inflammatory statement by religious or political leaders and have warned of strict action against anyone violating the law.
The burial will take place in a Muslim cemetery after the usual last prayer “Namaj-e-Janaza” later today. (PTI)
Guilty of conspiracy
Yakub, a chartered accountant by profession, was held guilty of conspiracy and financing the serial blasts through co-accused Mulchand Shah and the firm M/s Tejarat International, owned by his brother Ayub Memon, who is still at large.
He was also charged with providing tickets to some co-accused who were sent to Pakistan via Dubai for training in use of arms and ammunition, besides purchasing vehicles in which RDX had been planted for the massive blasts.
The Supreme Court while confirming his conviction and death sentence awarded by the TADA court on September 12, 2006, had on March 21, 2013, described him as the "driving spirit" behind the explosions that followed the communal riots in 1992-93 in the aftermath of the Babri Masjid demolition.
Yakub was arrested in Delhi on August 6, 1994, on his arrival from Kathmandu. While the law enforcement agencies said he was arrested, Yakub claimed he had come to surrender after suffering pangs of remorse.
In a fresh twist to the Yakub saga barely days before his hanging, emerged an article by a former RAW honcho B Raman, who headed the Pakistan desk in the agency at the time of his arrest, which said he was persuaded to return to India by the Central agencies. There was, however, no confirmation if Yakub had entered into a deal with them as part of which he could have escaped the noose.
Yakub’s brother Essa and sister-in-law Rubina are undergoing life imprisonment in the case for conspiracy and arranging finances and logistics for the terrorists who carried out the blasts.
Conspirators, who are alleged to have played a greater role in the carnage, including his elder brother Tiger Memon and underworld don Dawood Ibrahim, are still at large and said to have been sheltered by Pakistan's ISI. (PTI)
‘Slap on face' of those trying to protect a terrorist: BJP
NEW DELHI: Defending 1993 Mumbai terror blast convict Yakub Memon's execution, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Thursday said that the Supreme Court's ruling was a slap on the face of those who were ‘trying to protect a terrorist'.
“I think there are three very clear messages which come from his hanging. It is a long awaited justice to the victims of 1993. It is also a strong slap for political leaders who tried to bring religion and terrorism together and were trying to protect a terrorist,” said BJP leader Siddharth Nath Singh.
“It also shows how fair the Indian judiciary is as it allowed a terrorist like Yakub to exhaust all options after which the final hanging has come,” he added.
Memon's second mercy plea before President Pranab Mukherjee was rejected late last night. (ANI)
Third terror convict executed in 4 years
YAKUB MEMON: Yakub Memon, the lone 1993 Mumbai serial blasts convict who was hanged to death today, became the third terror convict to have been sent to the gallows in the last four years.
MOHAMAMMED AFZAL GURU: Before Memon, Parliament attack convict Mohamammed Afzal Guru was hanged at 8 am at Tihar Jail, New Delhi, on February 9, 2013. Afzal was convicted of conspiracy in the December 2001 attack on Parliament and was sentenced to death by the Supreme Court in 2004. On December 13, 2001, five heavily-armed terrorists had stormed the Parliament complex and opened indiscriminate fire, killing nine persons.
AJMAL KASAB: Prior to Afzal, Ajmal Kasab, the sole Pakistani gunman involved in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks to have been captured alive, was hanged to death at the Yerwada Central Prison in Pune on November 21, 2012, in an operation that was shrouded in secrecy. Ten Pakistani Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists had descended on Mumbai on November 26, 2008, and unleashed mayhem, targeting many of the city’s landmarks, including Hotel Taj and Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus. As many as 166 people, including some foreigners, had been killed in the most brazen terror assault. Nine of the perpetrators were killed during the 60-hour siege and Kasab was captured alive. (PTI)