Memon was hanged at Nagpur jail in the western state of Maharashtra in the early hours of the morning, as reported by the NDTV and CNN-IBN news channels, after last-ditch pleas for clemency were rejected.
Indian President Pranab Mukherjee had reportedly rejected Memon’s mercy plea late Wednesday, following which his lawyers moved the Supreme Court to request that Memon’s execution be postponed by 14 days. Yakub was hanged to death shortly before 7 am in Nagpur Central Jail Thursday morning.
Memon was convicted of providing technical and logistical support to the bombings which killed 257 people and were allegedly carried out by his brother.
India rarely carries out death sentences – only three people have been executed since 1995.
The mercy petition filed by convict of 1993 serial blasts Yakub Memon have been rejected by the three judge panel of Supreme Court today.
Meanwhile, clearing all speculations over where Yakub’s body will be buried, it was finally decided to hand over the body to his relatives to take it to Mumbai to perform his last rites as per their religious custom. Ten of those were also sentenced to death but had their death sentences commuted to life in prison.
Critics question whether Memon’s death serves India’s larger interests, saying it sends the wrong message to potential collaborators with justice agencies. The judge found Yakub Memon guilty of conspiracy and financing the serial blasts through co-accused Mulchand Shah and the firm M/s Tejarat global – owned by his brother Ayub Memon, who is absconding.
Indian prosecutors said the assaults were ordered by the local underworld in revenge for the demolition of a 16th century mosque in northern India by Hindu zealots.
“Tiger was right in telling me that I should not go to India with family as we would be hounded”, said Yakub Memon.
The court trial for the case began on June 6, 1995, and ended in January 2003 – one of the longest trials in the country.
Another brother, Tiger Memon, was alleged to have masterminded the attacks along with Mumbai gang boss Dawood Ibrahim. But there are debates on how to define that and the only executions in recent years have been of convicted terrorists.
The CJI then constituted a 3-judge Bench headed by Justice Dipak Misra, which had on Wednesday upheld the death warrant and refused to stay its execution.
Before Yakub Memon, Parliament attack convict Mohamammed Afzal Guru was hanged at 8 AM at Tihar jail here on February 9, 2013.
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.