Yakub Memon, the 1993 Mumbai blasts convict, was executed in Nagpur Central Jail on Thurday. While the mood at Badakabarastan cemetery at Marine Lines was charged, some areas of Mahim, Mohammed Ali Road, Nagpada, Pydhonie and Bhendi Bazaar observed a holiday on Thursday. Shops remained shut and children skipped school.
Syed Ziauddin, who works for a construction company and lives in Teli Mohalla near Sir JJ Road viaduct, said shop owners kept their shutters down of their own volition without any coaxing from associations or community leaders.
“Most of my neighbours remained glued to the television all night, closely following late night developments in Delhi. It was only around 4am that lights went out. Ever since, there has been silence,” he said, adding that the move to keep shops closed was to extend solidarity to Yakub Memon.
Mohammed Salim, who runs a store in Chor Bazaar, said, “Barring those that sell essential commodities, most shops were closed in not only Mutton Street but all parts of Mohammed Ali Road.” He added that not all shopkeepers did so to protest the hanging. “I am sure some shops were closed in homage to Dr APJ Abdul Kalam,” he said.
Imtiaz Sheikh, who lives near JJ Flyover, said Memon was mentioned in the morning and afternoon namaz at various mosques, including at Rasool Masjid where he went.
As many as 5,000 community members – an estimation by a senior police officer at the spot – arrived at Badakabarastan in the evening. As early as noon, many had assembled outside the cemetery waiting for Memon’s body to arrive. While hundreds of them could be seen behind barricades opposite the cemetery gates, a sea of people could be seen at the two foot over-bridges at the station.