Mumbai blasts convict Yakub Memon was hanged on his 53rd birthday at 7 am Thursday after the Supreme Court rejected his final petition following an unprecedented post-midnight hearing.
Late Wednesday, Yaku’s lawyers had moved a fresh petition in the Supreme Court arguing that the President could not decide on the mercy plea overnight. They argued that between the rejection of mercy petition and execution, there should be a gap of 14 days.
This last-ditch effort by the lawyers to save him from the gallows came after the Supreme Court rejected his petition against the execution and the Maharashtra Governor and the President of India dismissed his mercy petitions.
In a rare move, the Supreme Court judges accepted Yakub’s final petition, had a court-room opened up in the middle of the night and heard the petition. After 90 minutes of arguments, the three Supreme Court judges accepted the government’s argument that the convict had “ample opportunity” to challenge his sentencing.
A little after 2 am, a police constable delivered a letter to Suleiman, Yakub’s elder brother, who was staying in a hotel in Nagpur along with his cousin Usman. It was a formal intimation to Yakub’s family that he would be hanged in the morning.
Yakub had one last wish: to see his daughter. He could not. But he heard her as he was allowed to make one last phone call. Earlier, he broke down when Suleiman met him in jail to inform him about the final petition.
For supper, he had rotis and chicken curry. A cake was also sent to him as Thursday was his birthday.
At 4 am, he took his bath and put on a fresh set of clothes. At 5, he performed namaz. Breakfast was served at 5.30 but he did not touch anything. He took rest for a while and appeared very calm. At 6.30, he was informed about his crime. He was hanged at 7 am.
His body was handed to his family by the jail authorities after completing the post-mortem. Around noon, it was brought to Mumbai amid tight security in an air ambulance.
His mortal remains were then taken to his home in Mahim. Police appealed for calm to the large crowd gathered there. They had banned photography or videography of his body, slogan-shouting and protest marches.
Around 4.30 pm, Yakub’s body was taken to the Bada Qabristan cemetery at Marine Lines, South Mumbai. Close family members and friends accompanied the body amid tight security. He was buried at 5.15 pm near his father’s grave.