Yakub Memon hanged: Will it give a new hero to Muslim extremists in India?
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. Despite opposition from human rights activists, the Supreme Court gave the go ahead on the hanging and it was carried out earlier today.
The way the media has been going gaga over the court verdict and the hanging seems very unfortunate. While the capital punishment has been banned in many nations across the world, the way the media celebrated the court verdict shows that the reason was something else.
In the meantime earlier today 54-year old Memon who was convicted in the March 12, 1993 Mumbai serial blasts, was hanged till death at Maharashtra’s Nagpur Central Jail on Thursday morning, officials said. He 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 was hanged at 6.35 a.m. A medical team at the jail pronounced him dead a short while later, at 7.01 a.m.
In the meantime reports suggest that his body was sent for an autopsy in the jail hospital by a medical team from a Nagpur government hospital, before being cleared for the last rites. Initially, the jail authorities were not inclined to hand over the body and planned to perform the last rites in an isolated spot in the jail campus. After the hanging, Memon’s brother Sulaiman submitted an application to the jail authorities, demanding handing over of the body to enable them perform the last rites in Mumbai.
Thankfully the request was immediately processed and permission – with stringent conditions – was granted and the body handed over. It was taken to Nagpur airport and flowing in an air ambulance for the funeral rites scheduled on Thursday evening. Mumbai police have deployed tight security in Mahim area where the Memon’s home is located and at other sensitive places in the city and the state. Chief Minister Devednra Fadnavis will make a statement in the Maharashtra Legislature later in the day. The legal battle continued till barely a few hours before his hanging.
It must be mentioned here that Memon was the first — and only convict out of 100 in the 1993 Mumbai bomb blasts case — whose hanging was upheld by the Supreme Court. The death sentence of 11 others was commuted to life. A Mumbai Special Court had sentenced him to death in July 2007. The death warrant was issued by a Special TADA Court judge on April 29, scheduling the execution for July 30. Maharashtra had started preparations for the noose for Memon almost three weeks ago. Memon filed a fresh appeal in the Supreme Court, followed by a clemency plea with the Maharashtra governor, again a fresh plea in the apex court and a final appeal with the president of India.
Despite the difference of opinion in the apex court he got no relief from any quarters, paving the way for his execution. The Supreme Court early Thursday rejected a last ditch attempt by him to delay his execution. Post midnight on Thursday, the apex court bench comprising Justice Dipak Misra, Justice Prafulla C. Pant and Justice Amitava Roy rejected Memon’s plea seeking 14 days’ time before the execution of his death sentence is carried out.
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