The gates of the Al-Hussain building remained shut as the Supreme Court rejected the final plea of Yakub Memon on Wednesday, a day before his hanging was scheduled at a Nagpur jail and much before a three-judge bench of the apex court rejected a last-ditch appeal to save the 1993 serial blasts convict from gallows.
The locality around the Mahim’s infamous building and Memon’s residence witnessed scores of police officers as Mumbai police stepped up its vigil in anticipation of any possible unrest after Memon’s execution.
Barricades were put outside the Mahim police station which is near the building. Senior police officials visited the area shortly after the apex court’s verdict. The situation was tense with houses in the locality glued to the television closely watching the developments.
Inside the building, behind the closed gates, Memon’s brother-in-law Rahil was sitting. An evidently emotional Rahil, his face buried in his hands, sat quietly in the society premises.
Security deployment and other precautionary measures are being drawn taking this into considerations. In Mumbai, 25,000 policemen have been asked to be on the streets to charge of any untoward situation on Thursday. The officials said that their primary lookout is to avoid any communal flare ups in Mumbai.
As per sources, the likely places for burial if his body is brought into the city are going to be in Mahim or Charni road. Senior police officials have already began back door negotiations with the family requesting them not to take out a procession.
Police have identified over 200 sensitive pockets in the city where heavy police presence will be thrown, officials said. There are 10 companies of state reserve police companies in Mumbai, comprising of around 900 personnel, and if need be more reinforcement will be sought.
A prohibitory order was imposed in the Nagpur central jail area where Yakub is lodged.
A large contingent of state police, para-military forces and quick response teams (QRT) -- armed with anti-landmine vehicles and modern weapons -- are keeping a tight vigil in the area to thwart any untoward incident ahead of the hanging.
Section 144 of the CrPC, which prohibits unlawful assembly of more than four people, is in place up to 500m of the wall of Nagpur central jail, will be hanged on Thursday morning at 7am, on the busy Wardha Road.