Yakub Memon Hanged: Security Tightened Around His Mumbai Home

nagpur_2491281fNAGPUR: Over 22 years after the 1993 Mumbai blasts, Yakub Memon, the sole convict on death row, was hanged on his 53rd birthdayon Thursday after failure of last-gasp efforts by his counsels to stall the execution that led the Supreme Court to hear his plea in the wee hours before throwing it out.
Memon, whom the Supreme Court had described as the “driving spirit” behind the worst terror assault till date that left 257 dead and 713 wounded, was hanged at the Nagpur Central Jail shortly before 7 am, just about two hours after his last-ditch attempt to gain reprieve came to naught.
“Stay of death warrant would be a travesty of justice. The plea is dismissed,” said Justice Dipak Misra, heading a three-judge bench, in an order in Court Room 4 which was opened for an unprecedented 90-minute hearing that started at 3.20 AM and ended a little before dawn.The body of Memon was handed over to his relatives.
As Yakub Memon, convicted of helping plan the 1993 blasts, was executed early this morning in a Nagpur jail, security was tightened around his home in Mumbai.
Outside the Memon residence in Mahim, personnel of the Rapid Action Force and armoured vehicles could be spotted besides the Mumbai police. City police chief Rakesh Maria visited the area to assess arrangements.Some 450 preventive detentions have been made, said the Mumbai police.
Memon was hanged a little before 7 am today, two hours after his last minute petition for a stay was rejected by the Supreme Court, which opened at 3 am and held an unprecedented middle-of-the-night hearing.
After 90 minutes of arguments, the three Supreme Court judges who had rejected Memon’s petition earlier in the day accepted the government’s argument that the convict had “ample opportunity” to challenge his sentencing.
Memon is the first and only person to be hanged for the deadly blasts across Mumbai in 1993, in which 257 people were killed. Of the 11 sentenced to death for the terror attack, Yakub was the only convict not granted mercy.
Yakub’s brother Suleiman and cousin Usman have been staying at a hotel in Nagpur.A little after 2 am last night, a police constable delivered a letter to Suleiman at the hotel. It was speculated that it was a formal intimation to Memon’s family that he would be hanged in the morning.

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