Yakub Memon's daughter weds absconding 1993 blast accused Aziz Bilakhia's son

Updated: Jan 12, 2019, 08:48 IST | Faizan Khan | Mumbai

While Yakub Memon was hanged for his role in the terror attack, Aziz Bilakhia is still at large and runs several of global terrorist Dawood Ibrahim's operations

Yakub Memon, who was executed in 2015 for his role in the blasts and Afzal Bilakhia, son of 1993 blasts wanted accused Aziz Bilakhia
Yakub Memon, who was executed in 2015 for his role in the blasts and Afzal Bilakhia, son of 1993 blasts wanted accused Aziz Bilakhia

Nearly 26 years after they carried out the 1993 Mumbai blasts together, this time it is their children who have joined hands — in matrimony. It was a reunion of sorts for several of the blasts accused, who came together in Mahim to witness the union of Zubeida, daughter of Yakub Memon who was hanged for his role in the terror attack, and Afzal, son of wanted terrorist and Dawood's underworld operative Aziz Bilakhia.

According to the wedding card in mid-day's possession, the nikah (wedding) took place last evening after the Namaz-E-Asr (Shafi) at Makhdoom Ali Mahimi dargah, in Mahim West. The celebrations will continue for two more days, with a grand reception planned today at Mazgaon. On the third day, the wedding banquet or Walima will be held at Lokhandwala Garden, Andheri West.

Aziz Bilakhia's house in Mahim covered in lights for son Afzal's wedding. Pics/Nimesh Dave
Aziz Bilakhia's house in Mahim covered in lights for son Afzal's wedding. Pics/Nimesh Dave

The wedding comes four years after the bride Zubeida's father, Yakub Memon, was executed for his role in the 1993 bombings. He had been declared the mastermind of the terror strike that killed 257 people and injured 713. He was hanged to death on July 30, 2015. Zubeida was the last person he had spoken to before his execution.

The groom Afzal's father, Bilakhia, was wanted for the 1993 blasts case too, for his role in transporting weapons for the attack to Mumbai. Some of these arms (AK-56 rifles) were kept at the house of Bollywood star and co-accused Sanjay Dutt. Bilakhia, however, has managed to elude the police all these years. CBI records states that Bilakhia directly for underworld don Dawood Ibrahim and his brother Anees, and manages the extortion, enforcement, and debt collection activities for D-Company.

His Mahim house was all lit up for daughter Zubeida's nikah on Friday
His Mahim house was all lit up for daughter Zubeida's nikah on Friday

Who's Who of the crime world
Sources who attended the wedding told mid-day that several of the '93 blasts accused were present for the ceremony. This included some who are wanted along others who have served their sentences, and even those who were acquitted of charges. Sources also revealed that some of Dawood's relatives also participated in the celebrations. While crime branch officers refused to go on record, sources in the police revealed that a team had been deputed to keep an eye on the wedding bash and the invitees.

The fathers-in-law
Yakub allegedly handled his brother Tiger Memon's funds and was convicted on charges of having funded the training of 15 youths who were sent to Pakistan for weapons training. He was also accused of funding the escape of the Memon family, and transporting arms and explosives. Yakub fled with his entire family on March 10, 1993, two days before the Mumbai blasts. Once honoured as the best chartered accountant in the Memon community and the most highly-educated son in the family, Yakub was perhaps the most high-profile convict in the 1993 serial blasts case.

The invitations to the nikah on January 11 and the reception on January 14
The invitations to the nikah on January 11 and the reception on January 14

Bilakhia was convicted for transporting arms and ammunition along with another high-profile accused, Abu Salem. They transported nine AK-56 rifles, about 100 hand grenades, boxes of cartridges and magazines from Sansrod in Gujarat to Mumbai inside hidden cavities in a Maruti van. At Bilakhia's behest, Salem and other accused delivered some of the weapons to co-accused Sanjay Dutt at his residence. He remains at large.

Wedding brings 1993 Mumbai blast accused together after 26 years

Yakub's last wish
Before his execution at the Nagpur Central Jail, Yakub's last wish was to speak to his daughter. Father and daughter were overwhelmed with emotion, crying for a long interval before they could speak. Yakub asked about her studies and marriage, and asked her to take care of her mother. As per the various reports, Yakub had also told his daughter, "I wanted to see you getting married, but now I won't be there to witness those moments, I am sorry."

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