Yakub Memon will mark his 53rd birthday with a few fellow inmates and officials of Nagpur Central Jail on the night of July 29. Memon, who was born on July 30, 1962, is scheduled to be hanged the next day, though this could change as a petition challenging the death warrant issued to him will be heard by the Supreme Court on Tuesday.
Last Thursday, Memon’s relatives, including his wife Raheen, 42, daughter Zubeda, 21, and sister-in-law Rizwana Akbar, travelled to Nashik by the Duranto Express to meet him – perhaps for the last time - and met him for about an hour. Before returning to Mumbai the same evening, they reportedly requested jail officials to allow them to send a cake for his 53rd birthday. The officials seemed more than happy to accede.
“Even if the cake does not come from the Memons, we will ensure that Yakub celebrates his birthday,” said a jail official, who did not wish to be named. Jail authorities said Memon’s birthday celebration would be a low-key affair, and an attempt to keep his spirits up before the execution.
Meanwhile, Memon is reportedly becoming increasingly restless as his execution nears. According to jail officials, he has not eaten properly for the past two days. “He has been very reluctant to eat since Saturday. However, we are trying to persuade him. His anxiety has also increased, and we have been giving him regular medical care,” said the jail official.
Memon, the sole death-row convict in the 1993 serial blasts case, was shifted to Nagpur jail from Mumbai’s Arthur Road jail in 2007.