Days ahead of the scheduled hanging of 1993 Mumbai blast convict Yakub Memon, his family is distraught. Although expressing faith in the law of the land, they feel Memon deserves medical attention and mercy, and not capital punishment.
While Memon is scheduled to be hanged on July 30, he has appealed for mercy to state governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao.
“We have suffered a lot for the past 22 years. We want to appeal to the government to show some mercy. When we went to meet Yakub in Nagpur, he was disturbed with the development. In his current state, he needs medical attention, but he has been deemed fit for capital punishment,” said Memon’s wife Raheen, at her Mahim residence.
Memon’s daughter Zubeida and cousin Usman, along with other members of the family met Rao on Saturday. “All we know is we surrendered. There was no deal. We did not run away. We had gone to Dubai only to celebrate Eid. Yakub feels sorry about the 257 deaths in the blasts. The state should show mercy, as we surrendered before the law of the land. Forgive him for my daughter’s sake,” Raheen said.
“We don’t feel we are being discriminated against. We are not connected to MIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi [who linked the sentence to religion] in any way. We don’t understand politics. We have urged the governor to take stock of his psychological health before deciding on the capital punishment,” said Usman.
Elaborating on the family meeting in the Nagpur Central Jail, Memon’s former lawyer Shyam Keshwani said, “Yakub’s wife and daughter met him for approximately half-an-hour. They met him through a triple-security barricade. Yakub kept consoling them and inquired about Zubeida’s studies. He asked her to join a good MBA institute, as she has completed her graduation.”
“He told Zubeida there is no need to worry. He did not break down in front of them. He told them that he is innocent as he surrendered to the authority. He also promised to take his daughter out on dinner, whenever he is released,” Keshwani said.