India’s president rejects mercy plea of 1993 Mumbai blasts convict, making way for Yakub Memon’s execution on Thursday.
A man convicted of taking part in India’s worst-ever attack, the 1993 bombings in Mumbai, has been hanged, Indian TV stations reported.
India’s president and Supreme Court rejected last-ditch pleas to stay the execution of Yakub Memon over his role in the bombings, clearing the way for him to be hanged early on Thursday morning.
He was executed on his 53rd birthday at Nagpur jail in the western state of Maharashtra, according to the NDTV and CNN-IBN news channels.
Lawyers and activists had petitioned on behalf of Memon to Supreme Court Chief Justice H L Dattu after Indian President Pranab Mukherjee rejected a clemency plea late on Wednesday.
His lawyers had argued to the Supreme Court that executions are only to be carried out after seven days have passed following the rejection of a mercy petition.
In March 1993, a series of bombs ripped through the capital of Mumbai’s financial district, killing at least 257 people and injuring a thousand others.
The Bombay Stock Exchange, the offices of Air India and a luxury hotel were among about a dozen targets of the blasts.
The attack remains the most devastating attack on Indian soil and came after a series of Hindu-Muslim riots in Mumbai.
Of the 11 suspects sentenced in 2007 for their role in the devastating attacks, Memon was the only one sentenced to death. He was convicted for being “the driving spirit” behind the attacks.
Meanwhile, his brother ‘Tiger’ Memon and fellow alleged collaborator Dawood Ibrahim are still believed to be hiding in Pakistan.
Executions are only rarely carried out in India, but President Mukherjee has rejected a number of mercy pleas in the past three years, ending a de facto eight-year moratorium.
The lone surviving gunman from the 2008 Mumbai attacks was hanged in 2012, while a Kashmiri separatist was executed in New Delhi the following year after being convicted of involvement in a deadly 2001 attack on the Indian parliament.