Tiger Memon, a bank clerk turned militant, is one the most wanted persons by Interpol and CBI. He is considered to be one of the key conspirators of the 1993 Bombay serial blasts. Tiger, a former member of the criminal organisation led by Dawood Ibrahim “D – Company,” has been declared as the Specially Designated Narcotics Traffickers pursuant to the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act (Kingpin Act) by the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) for his part in the D – Company.
Ibrahim Mushtaq Abdul Razzaq Memon better known as Tiger Memon was born on Thursday, 24 November 1960 (age 61 years; as of 2021) in Bombay. According to some media outlets, while his father was running a workshop named ‘Famous Engineering and Welding’ in Mustafa Bazaar, Byculla, Mumbai, Tiger quit his studies and decided to support his family by getting a job.
Tiger Memon in 1962
Tiger Memon belongs to a Sunni Muslim family which traces its roots in the Kutch region.
The Memon Family – A picture from the wedding of Tiger’s brothers – Yakub and Ayub
Parents & Siblings
Tiger’s father, Abdul Razzak Memon, was an avid cricketer who played in the Mumbai League. Abdul Razzak was known as ‘Tiger’ – named after Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi (deceased), an Indian cricketer and a former captain of the Indian cricket team with whom Abdul Razzak had played various matches. Reportedly, Razzak was arrested as he was also under the radar of the Indian government for the 1993 blasts case, but he was granted bail after a few years as he fell sick. In 2001, at the age of 73, Tiger Memon’s father died. Tiger Memon’s mother, Hanifa Memon, is a homemaker. Hanifa Memon was booked for supporting her accused son Tiger and his friends; however, she was released on permanent bail and was also absolved by the TADA court due to the lack of evidence against her. Tiger Memon has five brothers namely Arif aka Suleman, Yakub Abdul Razzaq Memon (deceased), Ayub, Anjum otherwise Essa, and Yusuf (deceased).
Hanifa Memon – Tiger Memon’s mother
Abdul Razzak Memon (right) with Raheen Memon (Yakub’s wife) waiting outside the TADA Court
From left – Tiger Memon, Essa Memon, Yusuf Memon, and Ayub Memon
Suleman Memon – Image captured when he was on his way to meet Yakub in Nagpur Central Jail
Wife & Children
Tiger Memon got married to Shabana at Saboo Siddique Hall at Byculla, Mumbai. According to some sources, she was also a suspect in the 1993 Bombay blasts; however, the officials couldn’t get her. Shabana and Tiger were blessed with three children named Huda Ahmed Jamal, Jazib Ahmed Jamal, and Hina Dadabhoy.
Tiger Memon’s wife, Shabana Memon
Tiger Memon follows Islam.
Journey From a Clerk to one of the Top Smugglers
According to some sources, Tiger’s father, Razzak Memon, helped him get a clerk’s job at the Konkan Mercantile Bank in south Mumbai as Razzak had power in Memon’s Community. It is claimed that one day at the job, Tiger was asked to get tea for a visitor by the bank manager which was so disrespectful to Tiger that he held the manager by his collar and slapped him hard after which he got collapsed on his seat. According to some reports, he chose a shortcut to become rich and successful and walked on the path of smuggling and became one of the top smugglers. Some media also claimed that ‘Tejrath International,’ a company dealing with the export of meat and meat products, was taken over by Tiger Memon from his brother, Yakub; Tiger used the company’s name as the front for his deals of smuggling. Some media outlets claimed that Tiger used to smuggle electronic items and precious metals. In an interview, one of the neighbours of Tiger Memon revealed that Tiger seemed to be successful, stylish, and confident after his “business” started gaining profits. He also revealed that Tiger was the first person to own a red-coloured ‘Maruti 1000’ car with the number ‘GJI 3737.’ Reportedly. he had a rigid mindset and didn’t mix up with people of other communities.
The Impact of the Demolition of Babri Masjid
On 6 December 1992, organised by the leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), a rally involving around 150,000 people turned violent and demolished the mosque, claimed to be built at the same site where an ancient Ram temple was situated, in Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh. The leaders of the said parties included LK Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi. The demolition was followed by attacks on the people from the Muslim community in which almost eighteen Muslims were murdered and shops, houses, and around twenty-three local mosques were destroyed. The rage travelled to different parts of the country including Mumbai, where around two thousand people were killed. During the communal tension in Mumbai, the Hindu hooligans inflamed Tiger’s office named ‘Tejrath International’ as they were familiar with Tiger’s aversion to Hindus; however, Yakub’s office was spared by the group.
Babri Masjid in Ayodhya before its demolition
The Demolition of Babri Masjid – 6 December 1992
1993 Bombay Blasts – A Revenge
According to the sources, the destruction of personal property in the communal conflagration set Tiger Memon in a rage to take revenge for the loss for which he decided to exterminate the whole city. Reportedly, Tiger turned his revenge into a religious battle which made his way to executing the plan easier. On 12 March 1993, Mumbai was shaken by a series of almost 12 bomb blasts in the city at different places which included the Bombay Stock Exchange, Katha Bazaar, Sena Bhawan, Century Bazaar, Fisherman’s Colony in Mahim Causeway, Air India Building, Zaveri Bazaar, Sea Rock Hotel, Plaza Cinema, Juhu Centaur Hotel, AirPort Bay – 54, Worli, and the Post Office, etc. Reportedly, the blasts continued for nearly two hours. The sources claimed that the blasts were planned by using briefcases, scooters, and cars which had bombs activated one after another with a gap of around ten to fifteen minutes and were planted in public places which killed over 250 people while around 700 people were injured. Reportedly, Tiger fled to Dubai a day prior to the blast and later moved to Pakistan where he was believed to be hiding along with Dawood Ibrahim, one of India’s most wanted men. It is claimed that Tiger and Dawood had planned the Bombay blasts; however, in a telephonic interview, Dawood denied his involvement in the bombings and any kind of personal and professional relations with Tiger Memon.
Revelation by Younger Brother – Yakub Memon
Reportedly, Yakub had a suitcase filled with pieces of evidence against the involvement of Pakistan, Tiger Memon, Taufiq Jaliawala, a smuggler from Pakistan, and others. According to the sources, Yakub visited Dubai via Kathmandu and booked his returned tickets prior on a Lufthansa flight to accomplish his motive to reveal the conspirators; however, he got arrested in Kathmandu where is confirmed his identity as Yakub Memon not ‘Yusuf Memon’ (brother). Reportedly, Yakub helped the Indian officials in collecting shreds of evidence against Pakistan and Tiger Memon.
Reportedly, the special court set up under the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act (TADA) confirmed Tiger Memon as the key conspirator of the Bombay serial blasts. According to the sources, the Indian intelligence agencies have been tracking down Tiger Memon, who was claimed to be seen a few times in different parts of the country including Dubai. Tiger Memon has been declared wanted by Interpol and CBI.
- A controversy heated up after the execution of Yakub Memon as his grave was found to be decorated with LED lights and white marble to turn it into a “Mazaar,” a Muslim shrine. The marble stones were coloured green and even the lights were installed so that the grave could be seen in the dark. Reportedly, Tiger Memon threatened the guards at the graveyard as they denied the ‘beautification’ of the grave of his younger brother, Yakub Memon. Pravesh Sarkar, one of the trustees of the graveyard, revealed that he was threatened by Yakub’s cousin with the name of Tiger Memon. The trustee said,
When we refused to entertain the request of a special grave for Yakub, the cousin said Tiger wants to speak to you.”
Yakub Memon’s ‘decorated’ grave at Bara Qabristan in Mumbai
- Reportedly, Congress MLA Usman Majeed claimed that he had met Tiger Memon after the 1993 Bombay blasts in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir which broke out a controversy. According to Usman Majeed, he was introduced to Tiger by the Ikhwan-ul-Muslimeen chief and the founder of the Students Liberation Front, Hilal Beg. Usman also claimed that he met Tiger two to three times in the capital of Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK), Muzaffarabad in 1993. Usman Majeed said,
I met Tiger in 1993. I met him 2-3 times. He used to come to our office in Muzaffarabad (capital of Pakistan Occupied Kashmir). I was not friends with Tiger. Hilal Beg, the founder of the Students Liberation Front and chief of the Ikhwan-ul-Muslimeen militant outfit introduced me to him. He was most wanted that time in the country. He had carried out the blasts. I asked him how and why he had done it and what was the reason behind the blasts. He replied that the main reason was the demolition of Babri Masjid and the riots that followed it. He said people, including women, had come to him and told him that they were being killed and he had got emotional. That’s why he carried out the blasts.”
According to Usmaan, Tiger was helped by Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) in executing the blasts and after Yakub’s surrender, Tiger was worried about being killed by the ISI. He added,
ISI helped Tiger in carrying out the blasts. It wasn’t Tiger himself who did it. According to Tiger, everything was done by Pakistan – the plan and the weaponry was provided by them (Pakistan) and the plan was executed by his (Tiger’s) gang on the directions of ISI.”
- According to some media, Tiger Memon and all his brothers were named by their parents after the esteem prophets mentioned in the Quran and Old Testament.
- Some sources claimed that Manjubhai, a hotelier from Nagpara in south Mumbai, was suspected of giving a tip to the customs about a gold consignment worth rupees seven crores, belonging to the smuggling gang for which Memon used to work, was ceased in 1982. consignment by the said gang. Reportedly, Memon murdered Manjubhai as he was asked to punish him by the said gang and after this murder, Memon got the nickname ‘Tiger.’ It is also claimed that to escape from the reach of police, Memon collaborated with Dawood Ibrahim and became one the internal part of his smuggling gangs.
- Reportedly, a media outlet interviewed the wanted criminal and the underworld don, ‘Dawood Ibrahim.’ In the interview, he denied any personal relationship with Tiger Memon and revealed that he met him a couple of times only. Dawood Ibrahim said,
He used to come to Dubai very often. But I didn’t have any personal relationship or business deal with him. I know him the way I know every Bombayite who indulges in uncha neecha dhanda (shady deals). I have met him a number of times.”
- Reportedly, Tiger was a friend of Jaliawala in Dubai. While he was living in Karachi, he insisted his whole family move there. Some sources claimed that the Memon family built a luxurious house, through money given by Jaliawala and Tiger, named ‘Ahmed House’ worth Rs 1. 16 crores on a Rs 60-lakh plot in the Karachi Development Scheme area including 12 bedrooms and its own gymnasium. It was also claimed that except for Tiger, the whole Memon family was allowed (by ISI) to move freely.
- According to the sources, the evidence that Yakub had collected against Tiger included twelve Pakistani passports of the Memon family in which father Abdul Razzak was named Ahmed Mohammad Jamal (Pakistani passport no AA 763649), mother Hanifa as Zainab Ahmed (PP no AA 763645), Tiger Memon was Ahmed Jamaal (PP no 762402), Yakub as Yusuf Ahmed (PP no AA 763242), Raheen (Yakub’s wife) as Zeba Yusuf Ahmed (PP no 763646), and Suleman Memon was Aftaab Ahmed (PP no AA 763651).
- It is claimed that after the execution of Yakub Memon, Tiger talked to her mother over a phone call and assured her payback for the loss of his brother. He said,
Main unko chukwaonga (I will make them pay).”
His mother, Hanifa Memon, asked him to stop the violence and expressed her grief for the loss of one of his sons, Yakub, and the worry for the other child (Tiger). Hanifa Memon said,
Bas ho gaya. Pehle ke vajah se mera Yakub gaya ab aur nahi main dekh sakti. (Stop this, due to the first incident, I have lost Yakub. Now I can’t bear to see any more people dying).”
- According to the sources, he had opened a restaurant in one of the cities of the Emirates in collaboration with a well-known restaurateur in Mumbai.