Concerned about the law and order problem, chief minister Devendra Fadnavis and his top officials spent a sleepless night and were on their toes till the time Yakub Memon was buried on Thursday.
On Wednesday, the tension was palpable in the Mantralaya. Fadnavis had assigned the task of monitoring the judicial process to state home secretary KP Bakshi. After the Supreme Court verdict, the preparations to hang Memon were expedited.
The CM discussed the issue with governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao and it was decided to send the latter’s order on the mercy petition to the ministry of home affairs for further process, said sources.
“The CM spoke to Union home minister Rajnath Singh a few times. He also spoke to attorney general Mukul Rohatgi on sharing information about the status of the mercy petition made to the governor,” said an official from the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO).
Bakshi had been told to stay in touch with Union home secretary LC Goyal and Anoop Kumar Srivastava for better coordination.
“Fadnavis was monitoring the situation throughout the night. He was speaking to commissioners from Nagpur and Mumbai, giving them instructions. At the same time, he was keeping tabs on the preparations at the Nagpur jail. He was awake till 6.30am at his official residence,” said an official close to the chief minister.
However, soon Memon moved the apex court. While the state officials were confident that the SC would not stop the execution, they were concerned about the law and order situation, said sources.
The government had received specific directives from the Centre about the precautions that needed to be taken in the wake of possible communal tension. “On both days, the government was cracking down on any inflammatory or fake video or messages on the social media,” said a home department official.
According to a source in the CMO, Fadnavis reportedly told his Cabinet colleagues that the situation was critical and they need to maintain communal harmony in their regions.
Security agencies and police have been directed to keep tight vigil for the next one month, sources said.
National Security Advisor Ajit Doval also came to Mumbai to monitor the situation. “Doval quietly reached the city on Thursday and was reviewing the situation, along with Bakshi,” said state government sources.