Who was Yakub Memon, revamp of whose burial site has stirred a controversy?

9 September, 2022 | Pranay Lad

Yakub Memon Top News

More than seven years after Yakub Memon was hanged for his role in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case, a controversy has erupted over his final resting place. A video of Memon’s grave site in...

More than seven years after Yakub Memon was hanged for his role in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case, a controversy has erupted over his final resting place. A video of Memon’s grave site in Bada Kabrastan being transformed with marble titles, halogen and LED lights has recently gone viral on social media. Mumbai removed the LED lights on Thursday, claiming that the new lighting was installed in March, while the marble tiles were installed three years ago.

According to BJP MLA Ram Kadam, who shared images of the terrorist’s grave from a south Mumbai cemetery, the terrorist’s burial ground was converted into a tomb during the previous Uddhav Thackeray’s rule.

Kadam stated that Thackeray, the Shiv Sena’s leader, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar, and Congress leader Rahul Gandhi should apologise to the people of Mumbai for the beautification of the convicted terrorist’s grave, whose acts claimed hundreds of lives.

Who was Yakub Memon?
Yakub Memon was a convicted felon in the 1993 serial bombing case. On July 30, 2015, he was hanged at the Nagpur Central Jail after the Supreme Court denied his curative petition, the last legal remedy available to any convict.
He was Tiger Memon’s brother, a prime suspect in the same case who is believed to be hiding in Pakistan.

Yakub, the most educated of the six Memon brothers, had earned his Masters in Commerce from Burhani College before enrolling as a student at the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India in 1986. He became a certified Chartered Accountant four years later, in 1990, and went on to establish his own accounting firm, ‘Mehta and Memon Associates,’ with a childhood friend Chaitanya Mehta.
Meanwhile, his older brother Tiger was making a name for himself in the Mumbai underworld.
Yakub handled his brother’s accounts but claimed he was unaware of his brother’s alleged crimes. The police department claimed otherwise.

The investigation into the serial blasts case accused Yakub of being a part of a criminal conspiracy by assisting in the financing of the entire operation. As a result, he was charged with funding a terrorist activity and possessing explosives with the intent to endanger lives.

How was he arrested and convicted?

The Menon family had fled the city before the explosions, first to Dubai and then to Pakistan. They were linked to the tragedy after tracing the vehicle used in the explosions. They were the owners of the car.
Yakub decided to return to India after becoming dissatisfied with the constant monitoring by Pakistani intelligence agencies. He reportedly contacted lawyers to seek advice on how to plan his return.
Yakub returned 18 months later and was apprehended by the CBI on August 5, 1994, at the New Delhi station.

Yakub claimed that he surrendered willingly on July 28, 1994, in Nepal, after speaking with Indian intelligence agencies.
Following Yakub’s arrest, eight other members of his family returned, including his wife Raheen and their newborn daughter.
Memon was sentenced to death for criminal conspiracy by a TADA court on July 27, 2007. He then appealed the decision to higher courts. His Supreme Court appeal was denied in 2013. As a result, the President denied his mercy petition in 2014. After a Mumbai court set the date for his execution, he filed a curative petition, which was denied by the Supreme Court on July 21, 2015.

He was then executed on July 30, 2015, and his remains were buried at Bada Kabrastan in south Mumbai.

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