Nagpur: Yakub Memon, who was convicted for the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts, was hanged in a federal jail in the central Indian city of Nagpur on Thursday morning.
He was declared dead at 7.01 am, according to Indian television channels. The execution took place on Memon’s 53rd birthday. He was born on July 30, 1962.
Memon’s execution inside the Nagpur Central Jail was video recorded.
He was hanged after the Supreme Court rejected mercy plea at the last-minute. The apex court rejected his petition to stop his hanging after an unprecedented middle-of-the-night hearing.
His lawyer, Anand Grower, said he was “very disappointed and unhappy. SC has made a tragic mistake.”
Attorney general called the entire procedure to stall the execution a ‘game.’
Memon was convicted as “a driving spirit” for the 1993 blasts in Mumbai. He was accused of funding the serial blasts in Mumbai that killed 257 people in 1993.
His brother, Tiger, and underworld ruler Dawood Ibrahim, who masterminded the blasts, continue to elude the police and law.
Those who support Memon’s claim say that he provided crucial information to investigators in fixing accountability for the blasts. Two of his brothers have been given life sentence.
Memon left the country just before the blasts. He returned a year later amid conflicting reports on whether he had been arrested or had surrendered. Investigators deny he was offered a secret plea bargain.
The hanging took place after President Pranab Mukherjee rejected Memon’s mercy petition sent to him on Wednesday.
Activists and Memon’s lawyers told the Supreme Court in a late-night appeal that after a mercy plea is rejected, the death row prisoner can’t be hanged for 14 days, according to rules.
However, the three Supreme Court judges who heard the case accepted the government’s argument that Memon had “ample opportunity” to challenge his sentencing.
The court accepted the government’s argument that a mercy plea filed on Memon’s behalf by his brother, which was rejected by the President last year, could not be overlooked.
The Supreme Court on Wednesday had refused to stop Memon’s hanging, rejecting his claim that the top court had not followed correct processes in upholding his death sentence earlier this week.
The same three judges who ruled against him during the day heard the emergency petition in the middle of the night.