The Supreme Court rejected Yakub Memon’s plea against the death penalty and he is now scheduled to be hanged on July 30. In 1993, India’s first major terror attack, which took 257 innocent lives and injured many others took place. Yakub Memon is all set to be hanged on the same day he was born after 53 years. The blasts at 12 locations, including Air India building and Bombay Stock Exchange, left 257 people dead and 713 injured.
Property worth Rs. 27 crore were destroyed in the blasts. This was the first-ever terrorist attack to use RDX on a large scale basis after the World War II.
Yakub, is the younger brother of the prime accused in the serial blasts, Tiger Memon, who is still absconding.
Yakub Memon played a key role in the execution of the conspiracy. He was also accused of giving financial assistance to the terrorist activity. Memon had good contacts through which he arranged Rs 21.90 lakh for the execution of the plan.
Even the prosecution alleged that the Memon family played an active role in the blasts and that their own vehicles were used to plant bombs.
His elder brother Tiger Memon apparently warned him against returning saying “tu mahatma banne mat ja,” and even he screamed at the court after hearing the verdict saying, “woh sabne mana kiya tha ki wapas mat jaa”. He said he had faith in judiciary system but unfortunately for him, the court of law had pretty different view of the entire case.
Here is a timeline of Yakub Memon’s life:
Yakub was born in Mumbai’s congested area, Bhindi Bazaar on July 30, 1962.
In 1985, he completed his M. Com from Burhani College, Mumbai and in 1990 he became a chartered accountant after four years of study. He with his childhood friend Chaitanya Mehta, started a firm named Memon and Mehta Associates. They used to handle finances of more than 200 clients.
On March 10, 1993 – two days before the blast, Memon family left for Dubai. The family spent much of their time in travelling from Pakistan to Dubai.
On August 5, 1994, Yakub Memon returned to India with his family, and was arrested in connection with the March 12, 1993, serial blasts of Mumbai in New Delhi station. Yakub claimed that he had given up willingly on July 28, 1994, in Nepal. He had evidence with him, which included Pakistani identity cards and videos of known gangsters in Pakistan. Other family members also returned and surrendered, including his wife with the new born baby.
On September 12, 2006, Tada Court held Memon (A-1 or Accused Number 1) guilty and after a year later on July 27, 2007 under The TADA Act, he was sentenced to death. The court passed punishments of life imprisonment, 14 years, 10 years and another 10 years of tough imprisonment for other offences under IPC and Explosives Act. Rs 3.75 lakh fine was also imposed on Yakub by the court.
Supreme Court on March 21, 2013 confirmed the death penalty for Yakub Memon, saying “His commanding position and the crime of utmost gravity warranted no less, but commutes the sentences of 10 others to life imprisonment.”
He was in a position of authority and had played a significant role in the context of the blasts, which is important while determining the sentence. Essentially, Yakub’s deeds couldn’t be viewed as distinct from the act of Tiger Memon. Hence, both owed an equivalent responsibility for the blasts. They were the architects of the blasts, without whom the plan would have never seen daylight.
In 2014, President Pranab Mukherjee upheld his death sentence, rejected his mercy plea in May and in April 9, 2015, Supreme Court rejected plea to reconsider its March 2013 verdict, confirming Yakub Memon’s death sentence. Special court on April 29, 2015 in Mumbai fixed July 30, 2015 as the date of execution. In July 21, 2015 supreme court rejected his curative petition, the last legal remedy available to a convict.
While in prison, he completed two masters’ degree from Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU). In 2013, Memon acquired a masters degree in English Literature and in Political Science. His death penalty didn’t deter him from pursuing education.
It will be the first execution related to the 1993 serial blasts, in which 257 people were killed and many were hurt.