Yakub Abdul Razzak Memon, who had surrendered before Indian authorities some two decades ago for his role in Mumbai serial blasts in the year 1993 has been hanged to death.
Yakub Memon was sent to the gallows – on his 54th birthday on Thursday – after several of his court appeals and clemency petitions were rejected by various courts, including the Bombay High Court, the Supreme Court, the Maharashtra governor and the president of India.
Memon, a chartered accountant, died at 6.35am local time after the Supreme Court rejected his last-ditch request for a two-week postponement of the execution.
Prior to Afzal, Aamir Ajmal Kasab, the sole surviving Pakistani gunman involved in the Mumbai terror attacks which left 166 people dead in November, 2008, was hanged to death at Yerwada central prison in Pune, also in Maharashtra state, on November 21, 2012, in an operation shrouded in secrecy.
His older brother, Tiger Memon, and Dawood Ibrahim, who masterminded the deadly bombings, remain missing. “Only miracle can save me”, 1993 Mumbai blast convict Yakub Memon told a home guard who was posted near his barrack on Wednesday morning.
Congress leader Shashi Tharoor tweeted that he was “saddened by news that our government has hanged a human being” while BJP leader Shahnawaz Hussain said “justice has been delayed but it has been given”. It is now being flown to Mumbai for the last rites, official sources said.
Indian protesters shout slogans during a protest against the death sentence of convicted bomb plotter Yakub in this file picture taken July 27, 2015. His petition to the President sought mercy; in the Supreme Court, his lawyers argued that judges had not followed due process when upholding his death sentence earlier this week.
On March 12, 1993, they triggered serial (12) blasts that shattered the fragile peace the Indian financial capital had regained, deepening the scars of the preceding months. Ten of the 100 convicts were sentenced to death by the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act court in 2006, but their sentences were later commuted to life imprisonment.
Nagpur jail sources informed that Yakub said, “I want to meet my daughter”. Meanwhile, security has been tightened outside the terror attack convict’s Mumbai residence following his execution. She read out the operating part of the TADA court order which awarded capital punishment to Yakub Memon before he was made to stand on a stool and the lever pulled by the hangman.
Memon’s last appeals for clemency came as a government-appointed panel that frames laws for the country held a rare debate, seeking the views of lawmakers, social scientists, journalists, lawyers and opinion makers across the country on the death penalty and whether it is time to do end it.