Officials who put Qasab to death will execute Yakub Memon

Seven jail officials who were part of the hanging of Pakistani terrorist Ajmal Qasab in Yerawada Central Jail flew to Nagpur Central Jail yesterday to hang Yakub Memon

They put Pakistani terrorist Ajmal Qasab to death more than two years ago at the Yerawada Jail in Pune. And they are now part of the team responsible for executing Yakub Abdul Razak Memon today.

Suleman Memon, Yakub Memon’s brother in Nagpur yesterday
Suleman Memon, Yakub Memon’s brother in Nagpur yesterday

On Wednesday morning, a team of seven jail officers and staff members from the Pune prison was flown to Nagpur Central Jail to prepare for the hanging of the convict in the 1993 serial blasts case.

Former Pune jail superintendent Yogesh Desai, who oversaw Qasab’s hanging, had already been transferred to Nagpur recently. Rehearsals went on for five hours in the Faasi yard and continued till 7 pm. Memon was slated to hang at 7 am today.

Additional Director General (Prisons) Meeran Borwankar, who is at the helm of the proceedings, had kept the team under observation. A senior official from the Nagpur prison said, “A team of seven jail staffers, who were part of Pakistani national Ajmal Qasab’s hanging, has been called to Nagpur.

This team includes an officer of the rank of Deputy Inspector General of Prisons. The Additional DG (Prisons) has kept the mobile phones of senior officers from the team on surveillance, so that no information regarding the hanging is leaked.”

Section 144 (Unlawful assembly) was also invoked in the area yesterday, barring people from gathering within 500 metres of Nagpur Central Jail. Heavy police bandobast, including additional reinforcements from the State Reserve Police Force, was deployed around the jail and in the city.

After the hanging
The officer said Memon’s brothers, Usmaan and Suleman, met him on Wednesday and had submitted an application asking for custody of the body and promising to not take out a funeral procession. The jail officer said, “Yakub’s wish is to meet his family for the last time, especially his daughter.

His two brothers met him on Wednesday. We allowed him to speak with his daughter and wife over the phone. However, after the hanging, we prefer to have a funeral in the prison. After the post-mortem, three members of his family will be allowed to have a final glimpse of the body.”

The officer added that the decision regarding Memon’s burial spot had not been made yet and that the family wants to take the body to Mumbai. He continued that Memon had decided not to sleep the entire night and would read the Quran and relive his entire life in the last few hours he had remaining. Memon was also shifted to the Phasi yard yesterday.

A chartered accountant by profession, Yakub Memon is the brother of Ibrahim Memon aka Tiger Memon, who allegedly masterminded the ’93 serial blasts. While Tiger Memon is a fugitive, his brother was found guilty of conspiracy in the case, among other charges, and sentenced to death in 2007 by a Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act (TADA) Court.

He is called ‘Sir’ in the Nagpur jail because he mentored inmates and taught them Mathematics, English and Political Science. Memon is set to hang on his 53rd birthday, and a day before his daughter turns 21. His brother Suleman told the media on Wednesday, “Please leave us alone. I have full faith in the judiciary and the Almighty.”

Maanayata couldn't meet Sanjay on his birthday as jail officials rushed to Nagpur
Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt, a fellow convict in the ’93 serial blasts case, turned 56 yesterday. Dutt is currently serving a 42-month sentence for illegal possession of weapons. His wife Maanayata had planned to meet him, but since Yerawada officials had to rush to Nagpur for Memon’s execution, the meeting was cancelled.

An officer from the Yerawada Central Jail said, “For us, Dutt is a normal prisoner. He got up at 6 am, chanted the name of God, and had breakfast. He then read letters from his wife and greeting cards his children had made. He received 64 letters this week wishing him a happy birthday; most of these were from fans.”

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