Yakub Memon, a certified and successful Chartered Accountant from Mumbai, was convicted of criminal conspiracy and financing the escape of the prime accused of the Bombay Blasts in 1993. He was the brother of one of the key conspirators behind the attack, Tiger Memon. Yakub was given the death sentence by the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (TADA) court.
Yakub Abdul Razzaq Memon was born on Monday, 30 July 1962 (age 53 years; at the time of death) in Mumbai. He grew up in Byculla, Mumbai. Yakub studied at the ‘Antonio D’Souza School’ in Byculla. According to the sources, he scored 70 per cent in the state secondary board examinations. He pursued a Bachelor of Commerce degree. Later, he completed his Master of Commerce degree at Burhani College in Mumbai. In 1986, Yakub enrolled himself in the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India as a student. Four years later, in 1990, he became a professional Chartered Accountant.
Hair Colour: Salt and Pepper
Eye Colour: Dark Brown
Yakub Memon belonged to a Sunni Muslim family. The Memon family traces their roots in the Kutch region.
The Memon Family – A picture from the wedding of Yakub and Ayub
Parents & Siblings
Yakub’s father’s name is Abdul Razzak Memon (deceased), and his mother’s name is Hanifa Memon. He was third among the six sons of his parents. He had five brothers namely Arif aka Suleman, Ibrahim alias Mushtaq alias Tiger, Ayub, Anjum otherwise Essa, and Yusuf (deceased).
Hanifa Memon – Yakub Memon’s mother
Abdul Razzak Memon (right) with Hanifa Memon (Yakub’s wife) waiting outside the TADA Court
Suleman Memon – Image captured when he was on his way to meet Yakub in Nagpur Central Jail
From left – Tiger Memon, Essa Memon, Yusuf Memon, and Ayub Memon
Wife & Children
In 1992, Yakub got married to Raheen at the Islam Gymkhana. They were blessed with a daughter, Zubeida Memon.
Raheen Memon – Yakub Memon’s wife
Zubeida Memon – Yakub’s Daughter
Yakub Memon followed Islam.
Mehta and Memon Associates
After becoming a certified Chartered Accountant, he set up his accountancy firm named the ‘Mehta and Memon Associates’ in collaboration with one of his childhood friends Chetan Mehta. According to some media sources, they parted ways after almost a year.
AR & Sons
According to some media outlets, after parting ways with Chetan, Yakub established an independent firm named ‘AR & Sons’ in memory of his father. As per some reports, Yakub was awarded the ‘Best Chartered Accountant Award’ by the Memon community in Mumbai for the success of his firm.
While ‘AR & Sons’ was functioning, Yakub tried his hands at the exports and decided to set up a company named ‘Tejrath International’ which dealt with the export of meat and meat products to the Gulf and the Middle East. As claimed by the media outlets, his business flourished and brought him economic prosperity as a result of which he invested in almost six flats in the Al-Hussaini Building, close to the Mahim Dargah, Mumbai.
The AI Hussain building in Mumbai
1993 Bombay Blasts
Cropped up in the Conspiracy
Yakub Memon purportedly handled the funds of his brother and one of the prime accused of the attack Tiger Memon. He allegedly sent about 15 youths to Pakistan and funded their training in handling and operating arms and ammunition.
12 March 1993: The Destructive Series of Bomb Blasts in Bombay
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.
An image from the blast in North Worli, Mumbai
Picture from 1993 Bombay Bomb Blast – the rescue of casualties
The Arrest and Charges
According to the sources, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) claimed that Yakub was arrested at the New Delhi railway station on August 5, 1994; however, as per some reports, Yakub contradicted the claim of the CBI and mentioned that he capitulated after getting in touch with the Indian intelligence agencies in Nepal on 24 July 1994. Reportedly, on July 27, 2007 , Yakub Memon was charged under the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities Act (TADA) and Section 120B of the Indian Penal Code. As per the reports of media outlets, he was charged with a death sentence for his involvement in the criminal conspiracy, a life sentence for Aiding and abetting in a terrorist act, rigorous imprisonment for 14 years and 10 years for illegal possession and supply of arms and ammunition and planting explosives with intent to endanger lives respectively.
Yakub Memon when he was taken back to jail in a police vehicle after he was allowed to visit his Mahim residence in Mumbai – picture captured on 16 September 1993
The Petitions Filed
Reportedly, on March 21, 2013, the Supreme Court confirmed the judgement death sentence for Yakub Memon’s act in the conspiracy. As per the sources, Memon filed a review petition seeking the review of the Supreme Court’s judgment on confirming his execution. According to the media outlets, in opposition to the judgement at the High Court, he filed a mercy petition with former President Pranab Mukherjee; the petition was rejected by the President of India in 2014. As per some sources, the review petition was rejected by the Supreme Court on 9 April 2015. As per the media reports, Yakub subsequently filed a curative petition, the last chance to get protection from the final decision of the court after the review petition is dismissed, after the date of execution was confirmed by a Mumbai court. On 21 July 2015, the Supreme Court of India dismissed Yakub’s curative petition. On 23 July 2015, Memon filed a petition seeking a stay on his execution which was scheduled for 30 July 2015. Reportedly, on 29 July 2015, the Supreme Court rejected the petition and upheld the execution on 30 July 2015. On the same day, Memon submitted a fresh mercy plea to the President which was rejected by the Maharashtra Government and President as well. As per the reports, Memon, on the day of his execution, i.e., 30 July 2015, filed a petition seeking a stay on the decision of the death sentence; however, the Supreme Court dismissed the said petition in the early hours.
According to the sources, Yakub Memon, on the day of execution, wanted to read the Quran and do Salah and talk to her daughter, Zubeida as his last wish which was accepted by the authorities. The media outlets claimed that he expressed his desire to see her daughter get happily married and apologised for not being able to do enough for his family. He said,
I wanted to see you getting married and settling down happily, but now I won’t be able 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.”
Some sources also claimed that recalling the time when he lived with his family in Mahim, Yakub said that he wished Tiger Memon wasn’t his brother as Yakub got in trouble because of his brother only. He said,
Allah usey kabhi maaf nahi karega. Kaash woh mera bhai na hota.”
On 30 July 2015, Yakub was hanged at Nagpur Central jail at 7:00 am.
Yakub Memon was laid in the grave at Bada Qabristan at Marine Lines, Mumbai. Some media outlets claimed that he was buried beside his father, Abdul Razzak’s grave. Reportedly, around fifteen thousand people gathered for the funeral at Bara Qabristan.
The funeral of Yakub Memon (2015) – Yakub’s body carried by people outside his residence in Mumbai
The “Decorated” Grave
A controversy was 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. As the “decoration” took place while former Chief Minister Udhav Thackeray was in power, he was asked questions about letting it happen by citizens including political leaders of the country; however, the police officials had removed the lights from the place of the grave. Reportedly, BJP MLA Kadam opposed the decoration and expressed his anger as no action was taken by Thackeray during his tenure. MLA Kadam said,
The terrorist who kills thousands of innocent people of Mumbai at the behest of Pakistan, respect to such a terrorist… All this has happened under the leadership of Rahul Gandhi, Sharad Pawar and Uddhav Thackeray. Marble and LED lights were installed all around it. Security has been put in place. Why was Thackeray silent when the mazar was being built? What was the secret behind his silence? The misdeed of converting terrorist Yakub Memon’s grave into a mazar happened in front of Udhav Thackeray’s eyes. Is this Thackeray’s love for Mumbai? Yakub, a terrorist who killed thousands of people.”
Yakub Memon’s ‘decorated’ grave at Bara Qabristan in Mumbai
- Reportedly, he was the first convict to be hanged since 1995.
- Yakub Memom pursued a second master’s degree in Political Science during his imprisonment in the Central Prison at Nagpur, but he could not receive the degree as he was hanged earlier on his birthday, i,e., 30 July.
- According to some media outlets, Yakub had a keen interest in cricket just like his all family members. Moreover, he was a captain of a local cricket team
- Yakub’s family was fond of Hindi Cinema.
- Reportedly, an empty ambulance was sent to ‘Deekshabhumi’ in Nagpur to distract the media and later around 9:40 am, an ambulance carrying Yakub’s body, escorted by two police vans, left for the Nagpur airport to perform final rites in Mumbai.
- Coincidentally, Yakub was executed on his 53rd birthday.
- His favourite colour was Burgundy.
- Actor Sanjay Dutt was also charged by the TADA court in 2016 for the illegal possession of arms given by Anees Ibrahim Kaskar, brother of the main conspirator, Dawood.
- According to the reports, the Memon family was brought to India through a secret mission under the observation of then Prime Minister PV Narasimha Rao in 1994 from Sharjah, UAE. Reportedly, the Memon family fled to Dubai after the incident of bomb blasts in Mumbai in 1993. Some of the family members were found to be convicts of the attack and that’s why they were planned to bring back into the country.