Bomb plot­ter put to death for crimes

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS -

IN­DIA yesterday ex­e­cuted con­victed bomb plot­ter Yakub Me­mon for his role in a se­ries of co- or­di­nated at­tacks that killed hun­dreds of peo­ple in Mum­bai in 1993, In­dian media re­ported.

Me­mon was hanged at Nag­pur jail in the western state of Ma­ha­rash­tra on the day of his 53rd birth­day, ac­cord­ing to the NDTV and CNN- IBN news chan­nels, af­ter last- ditch pleas for clemency were re­jected by In­dia’s pres­i­dent and supreme court.

PTI said that Me­mon’s body was due to be handed over to his fam­ily, adding that Ma­ha­rash­tra Chief Min­is­ter Deven­dra Fad­navis was ex­pected to make a state­ment to the state assem­bly later yesterday.

The Bom­bay Stock Ex­change, the of­fices of Air In­dia and a lux­ury ho­tel were among about a dozen tar­gets of the March 1993 blasts, which killed 257 peo­ple in the dead­li­est at­tacks ever to hit In­dia.

They were be­lieved to have been staged by Mum­bai’s Mus­lim- dom­i­nated un­der­world in re­tal­i­a­tion for anti- Mus­lim vi­o­lence that had killed more than 1000 peo­ple.

Se­cu­rity was tight­ened near the tar­gets in Mum­bai yesterday. Me­mon, a for­mer ac­coun­tant by pro­fes­sion, was the only one of 11 peo­ple con­victed over the atroc­ity to have his death sen­tence up­held on ap­peal. The sen­tences on the oth­ers were com­muted to life im­pris­on­ment.

He had de­nied any in­volve­ment in the blasts dur­ing a stag­gered trial and ap­peal pro- cess that bit­terly di­vided opin­ion in In­dia and led to calls from rights ac­tivists and an ex- judge for his life to be spared.

For­mer Supreme Court judge Harjit Singh Bedi had said the Supreme Court should take no­tice of re­ports that Me­mon had co- op­er­ated with in­ves­ti­ga­tors and re­turned vol­un­tar­ily from Pak­istan, where he fled af­ter the blasts.

Oth­ers pointed out that his brother Tiger Me­mon was al­leged to have mas­ter­minded the at­tacks, along with Mum­bai gang boss Da­wood Ibrahim. Both have been on the run since 1993.

Me­mon and two other broth­ers were con­victed in 2006 by a spe­cially des­ig­nated court, us­ing con­tro­ver­sial an­titer­ror leg­is­la­tion that was in­tro­duced af­ter the at­tacks that is no longer on the statute books.

Pic­ture: AFP

In­dian protesters shout slo­gans dur­ing a rally ear­lier this week against Yakub Me­mon’s death sen­tence.

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