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Yaqub Memon gets death in blasts case
Syed Firdaus Ashraf in Mumbai | July 27, 2007 12:37 IST
Last Updated: July 27, 2007 15:12 IST
His brothers Essa and Yusuf Memon and their sister-in-law Rubaina Memon were sentenced to life in prison for their roles in the March 12, 1993 serial blasts, which claimed over 250 lives and injured hundreds of others. Rubaina's husband Suleman was acquitted by the court.
The Memons' elder brother, Ibrahim 'Tiger' Memon, is a fugitive and the main accused in the case along with gangster Dawood Ibrahim.
On hearing the judgment, Yaqub Memon, a chartered accountant by profession, quoted Jesus Christ and said loudly, "Forgive them Lord for they don't know what they do." He then embraced his brothers before being led out of court by the police.
When the media called out to him for a reaction, Yaqub Memon shouted back: "I have forgiven him, I have forgiven him," referring to Judge Pramod Kode.
Rubaina Memon broke down inconsolably after coming out of court.
Apart from life-term, the three Memons have also been asked to pay a fine of Rs 1 lakh each.
Actor Sanjay Dutt [Images], who was also present in court, will be sentenced on July 31. On being given his date, he walked calmly out of court.
The Memons were led to separate cells after the judgment was pronounced by Judge Kode of the TADA court.
Yaqub Memon -- like his brothers, parents and relatives, left for Pakistan on the morning of the blasts -- mysteriously surfaced at the Delhi railway station in 1995, amidst speculation that he had struck a deal with the Indian government for clemency in exchange for spilling the beans about the deadly conspiracy.
In a confession shown on Indian television, he spoke of how Pakistani agents -- presumably from the Inter Services Intelligence agency -- had conspired with the Karachi-based Dawood Ibrahim and his associates to train the conspirators, most of whom fled to Pakistan after the blasts.
His chartered accountancy office in Mahim, northcentral Mumbai, close to where the Memon family lived, was burnt down in the riots that engulfed Mumbai in December 1992-January 1993 following the Babri Masjid demolition in Ayodhya.
All the other accused, who the court awarded the death sentence, were 'planters', men who planted the bombs at the sites. Yaqub Memon was given the death sentence for arranging money for the blasts and organising tickets for other accused to travel to Pakistan for arms training and indoctrination.