Nagpur/Mumbai: The body of Yakub Memon, who was hanged in Nagpur this morning for his role in the 1993 Mumbai serial bomb blasts, was handed over to his family which flew it to Mumbai for last rites amid tight security with city police disallowing any procession.
Security has been stepped up in Mumbai, especially in Mahim area where Yakub’s family resides as well as other sensitive localities of the metropolis, and over 400 people have been detained as a preventive measure.
Quick Response Teams of police, formed after the 26/11 terrorist attacks, have been deployed at a few places, including the Al Hussaini building where the Memon family lives and in Marine Lines, where the burial arrangements have been made.
“Yes Yakub Memon has been hanged at 7 AM sharp and his body is being handed over to his family,” Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said. Yakub’s brother Suleiman and cousin Usman, who were camping in Nagpur since yesterday, received the body which was taken to airport and flown to Mumbai. The two boarded the same flight.
Suleiman had moved an application last evening to the Nagpur jail authorities requesting that the body be handed over to the family. The request was accepted and accordingly, the body was wrapped in ‘kafan’ (shroud) and placed in a tightly sealed coffin box.
Mumbai Police has not allowed Yakub’s family to carry the body in a procession and has made arrangements to perform the burial at a cemetery in Marine Lines, where heavy police force has been deployed.
“We have not permitted Yakub’s family to reach the cemetery in any procession taking into account law and order situation and only those very close to the family would be taking part in his last rites,” a senior police officer said.
“We have already gathered personal details of the people who would be with Yakub’s family,” he added. Since Yakub’s father Abdul Razzak and some other family members were buried at the Marine Lines cemetery, Yakub’s family has wished to perform his last rites there, another police officer said.
Alternative arrangements have also been made for burial at the Mahim cemetery, he said.
“We are monitoring and reviewing the security arrangements regularly,” Mumbai Police spokesperson Dhananjay Kulkarni said.
Mumbai Police have detained nearly 405 people as a preventive measure to maintain law and order in the wake of Yakub’s hanging. “All the people who are detained are on police record, who might disturb the communal harmony or create disturbance in the city,” said DCP (Detection) Dhananjay Kulkarni.
Police are also keeping a close eye on any inflammatory statement by religious or political leaders and have warned of strict action against anyone violating law. The burial will take place in a Muslim cemetery after the usual last prayer ‘Namaj-e-Janaja’ later today.
Tight security arrangements were made in and around the Central Prison in Nagpur. Quick Response Teams were deployed and authorities also clamped section 144 of CrPC (unlawful assembly) last evening.
A large number of onlookers gathered at some distance outside the jail. Yakub was hanged till death in the ‘Fansi Yard’ under supervision of Jail Superintendent Yogesh Desai.
A team of doctors declared him dead after about half-and-hour of the scheduled hanging, when his body was brought down.
Chief Judicial Magistrate of Nagpur M M Deshpande was present in the Fansi Yard.
She read out the operating part of the TADA court order which awarded capital punishment to Yakub before he was made to stand on a stool and the lever pulled by the hangman.
Yakub, who was the lone convict sent to gallows in the serial blasts which claimed 257 lives across the financial capital of country in 1993, lost a series of legal battles for stay on his execution.