Special public prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam said on Wednesday that 1993 Mumbai serial bomb blasts suspect Yakub Memon “never wanted to surrender” and was captured by Indian security agencies with the help of foreign investigators and Interpol.
That Maharashtra government said on Tuesday that it plans to hang Yakub , brother of fugitive terror mastermind Tiger Memon, on July 30 if the Supreme Court turns down his plea for mercy on July 21. The court had turned down a review petition filed by Yakub on April 9, following which he filed another. This second petition is scheduled to be heard on July 21.
Yakub has been behind bars since 1994 , when the CBI purportedly arrested him from Kathmandu. Sources in the police department said Memon returned voluntarily. Nikam, however, claimed this was not the case. He said, “All those who think Yakub came to India because he was missing his homeland should know that he is not a fool. He knew the consequences. He was caught by our security agencies with the help of foreign investigators after Interpol notifications were issued. He never wanted to surrender.”
Nikam, who played a key role in the 1993 blasts trial in a Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act (TADA) court in Mumbai, said the Supreme Court’s decision to reject Yakub’s review petition was just. “The role of the conspirator is always more crucial than of those who plant the bombs,” said Nikam. “Perhaps the Supreme Court upheld the decision to hang Memon because it deduced that people who conspire to attack the nation’s integrity are more dangerous than those who planted the bombs.” He added, “The court may have made a distinction between the conspirators and the planters, thinking that the conspirators are primarily responsible for the act and the planters are secondary to the issue.”
When asked whether Yakub is being hanged because he is Tiger Memon’s brother, Nikam said, “It is not because he is Tiger’s brother. Yakub’s role is very prominent in the blasts conspiracy. He participated in the criminal conspiracy that was hatched in Dubai.” Nikam said that Yakub’s hanging would send out a strong message, not only to Dawood Ibrahim and Tiger Memon, but all those “sitting across the border” who want to spread terror in India.
He added that two of the 15 people who were sent from Dubai to Pakistan for training eventually turned approvers (confessed their guilt and gave evidence against others).