Yakub Memon, set to hang on July 30 for his role in the 1993 Mumbai serial bomb blasts, was calm and composed when he was informed about the Supreme Court rejecting his petition seeking the commutation of his death sentence on Tuesday afternoon.
Memon, 53, was found guilty of conspiracy in 2007 for the serial blasts that killed more than 250 people in Mumbai. He will be the only accused to be executed in the 1993 case.
A senior official of Nagpur’s Central jail, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Memon was silent, motionless and seemingly composed when news of the rejection of his mercy petition was relayed to him.
Memon’s cousin Usman Memon and S Farooqui, his lawyer from Delhi, met the convict on Tuesday this morning and were with him for more than 90 minutes.
“He (Memon) was calm and composed during our discussion. We have full faith in the laws of the land,” Farooqui said.
Memon’s wife Raheen and daughter are expected to visit the jail on Wednesday or Thursday to meet him.
Earlier, Memon’s appeals against his death sentence were rejected by the Supreme Court and the President.
Memon, a chartered accountant, had challenged his death sentence on the ground that though he was found guilty of conspiracy, he was not involved in executing the blasts.
His brother Ibrahim Memon alias Tiger Memon, one of the main accused in the case, has not been traced by authorities since he left India in 1993.
The date and time of the execution have been approved by the state government.
However, it is still not clear whether Memon will be hanged in Nagpur’s Central jail or in Pune’s Yerwada jail as there is no hangman in Nagpur. There is speculation that Memon might be moved to Pune and executed there, as was the case with Ajmal Kasab, the lone surviving terrorist involved in the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks.
Neither Nagpur’s Central jail nor Yerwada jail has an executioner. For hanging Kasab at Yerwada jail, officials had to call in a retired hangman.
The last execution at Nagpur’s Central prison was carried out in 1984, when the Wankhede brothers from Amravati were hanged for murder.
Jail officials in Nagpur said they were prepared for Memon’s execution and that getting a hangman will not be a problem.
Yogesh Desai, superintendent of Nagpur’s Central jail, said the prison has the necessary facilities to hang Memon. “We have the requisite facilities for hanging here,” he said.
Authorities may rope in a hangman from neighbouring Madhya Pradesh or the retired hangman who executed Kasab might be called for the job, a senior jail official said.