Hours before Yaqoob Memon due to hang, court rejects final appeal
NEW DELHI – Yaqoob Memon’s last hope of avoiding the hangman’s noose for his alleged role in the 1993 Mumbai bombings was dashed on Wednesday, after the Supreme Court threw out his final plea for mercy hours before he was due to be executed.
Memon could go to the gallows before 7 am on Thursday, his 53rd birthday, for his alleged role in a series of bombings that killed at least 257 people.
The case has aroused controversy because police considered Memon’s brother, “Tiger” Memon, and mafia don Dawood Ibrahim to be the masterminds behind attacks designed to avenge the destruction of an ancient mosque by Hindu zealots in 1992.
Both men remain in hiding.
Calls for reprieve grew after a website last week released a 2007 article by intelligence official B. Raman, who coordinated Memon’s arrest in 1994, saying the prosecution had failed to highlight mitigating circumstances in its eagerness to secure a death penalty. Raman has since died.
A three-judge Supreme Court panel rejected Memon’s 11th-hour petition, clearing the last judicial barrier to his execution, due to be carried out in a jail in Nagpur. –Reuters