Yakub Memon’s last call was to his daughter

MUMBAI: As the Supreme Court convened in New Delhi at 3am on Wednesday to hear 1993 Mumbai blasts convict Yakub Memon’s last minute plea for mercy before rejecting it, authorities at Nagpur Central Jail, where he was hanged at 7am, allowed him his last wish — a phone call to his 21-year-old daughter, Zubeida.

The jail staff dialled Zubeida’s number and handed the phone to him. Sources present said Yakub broke down on hearing his daughter’s voice. Zubeida too couldn’t hold back her tears. Both remained silent for a few moments before Yakub regained enough composure to talk.

“I wanted to see you getting married and settling down happily, but now I won’t be there to see that moment. I am sorry. I haven’t done anything which will bring shame to our family. I was never involved in anything. Take care of your mother,” Yakub managed to say before hanging up for the last time.

He, however, managed to leave a will, which sources said mentions Zubeida alone. It is not known if this will was handed over to his brother Suleiman or given to the police. Yakub also bid farewell to his fellow convicts and apologized to them for any indiscretion on his part. According to the police, he was heard telling them that he has no hope now. “Ab toh Allah hi malik hai,” he said. A part of his last hours were spent recollecting the time when he lived in Mahim with his family, and how he landed in trouble because of his brother Mushtaq ‘Tiger’ Memon. “Allah usey kabhi maaf nahi karega. Kaash ki woh mera bhai na hota,” he said.

ources in the state government said Yakub had stopped eating properly in the last two days. Since he is schizophrenic, not even a glass to drink water was kept near him as jail authorities feared he would hurt himself.

Around 5pm on Wednesday, Yakub was taken to the jail superintendent’s office, where officials told him that the Supreme Court had rejected his challenge to the Maharashtra governor’s decision to turn down his mercy plea.

As he was being taken back to his cell, Yakub spotted Suleiman in the corridor and called out to him, but jail authorities did not allow the brothers to meet. Yakub then screamed out to Suleiman: “Take care of my wife and daughter.”

Yakub spoke to a prison guard he often interacted with, jail sources said, telling him that he didn’t like the way his case had been politicized. According to sources, Yakub also told the guard, “I wish I could meet my daughter.” He last met his wife Raheen and Zubeida inside the prison on July 23. Yakub also bid goodbye to another prison guard, saying this was probably the last time he would be meeting him.

With just a couple of hours between the judgment and hanging, the Supreme Court registry was told to directly inform Nagpur Central Prison authorities of the case’s outcome, where additional DG Meeran Borwankar and senior SP (jail) Yogesh Desai were waiting.

When the petition was rejected, the government and court immediately informed the jail authorities that he could be hanged. Some minutes before the execution, the cell phones of all staffers were taken away to ensure that no pictures are taken and leaked. The entire process has been shot on video for official records. —-Courtesy Mumbai Mirror

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