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Memons of Mahim: India's most 'infamous' family

Source: PTI
July 30, 2015 12:52 IST
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Looking back at the history of the Memon family, many of whom were involved in the Mumbai serial blasts, from March 12, 1993 to July 30, 2014

Suleiman Memon on his way to meet his brother Yakub in Nagpur on Wednesday ahead of his hanging. Suleiman was acquitted in the Mumbai blasts case. Photograph: PTI

The Memon family residing in Mumbai's central Mahim has become synonymous with the deadly serials blasts that ripped across Mumbai on 12, March 1993 killing 257 people.    

Several family members of Yakub Abdul Razak Memon, who was hanged on Thursday for his role in the blasts, were among the accused in the case and some of them were discharged for want of evidence.

Yakub's parents Abdul Razak Memon and Hanifa Memon lived in the eight-storey Al-Husseini building near the historic durgah of Makhdoom Shah Baba in Mahim, Central Mumbai. It was in this building that the bomb blasts conspiracy was hatched by Mushtaq alias Tiger Memon, Yakub's brother and the right-hand man of fugitive accused and mastermind Dawood Ibrahim.

On the eve of the bomb blasts on March 12, 1993, RDX, used for the first time in India for explosions, was planted in cars and scooters in the garages of Al-Husseini building by Tiger Memon's men.

Yakub, who was hanged at the Central Jail in Nagpur, was a chartered accountant. He has a flat in his name on the second floor in this building.

His father Abdul Razak was an avid cricket buff and himself a player in the Mumbai league. He was popularly known as 'Tiger', after former national captain Nawab of Pataudi, and was keen that his son Mushtaq becomes a cricketer when he grows up.

Abdul Razak was arrested after he returned from abroad along with other members of Memon family in 1994. He fell sick in jail and was granted bail after few years. He died in 2001 at the age of 73. His wife Hanifa was booked for abetment of terror acts of her son Tiger and his friends. She too was released on bail after being lodged in jail for few years. Eventually, the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act court acquitted her due to lack of evidence.

Tiger was allegedly a smuggler and represented the illegal business of Dawood in India. He fled to Dubai, a day prior to the blasts, and from there moved to Pakistan, where he is believed to be hiding along with the underworld don. Tiger, one of India's most wanted criminals, masterminded the 1993 serial blasts along with Dawood to avenge the demolition of Babri Masjid.

Yakub had an accounting firm where he handled accounts of Tiger's company dealing in hawala business. He also provided tickets to accused in the blasts, who went to Pakistan via Dubai for arms training, according to the charges levelled against him in TADA court. He was arrested in 1994 and tried in a TADA court. He was convicted by the TADA court in 2006 and on July 27, 2007 he was sentenced to death by the same court. On March 21, 2013, the Supreme Court upheld his death sentence.

In 2014, President Pranab Mukherjee rejected his mercy plea and the Supreme Court rejected his mercy petition on April 10 this year. On April 29, TADA court fixed July 30 as the date of execution of his death sentence.

Yakub's wife Rahin met her husband last week. Photograph: PTI

Yakub's wife Rahin was also arrested along with her husband in the 1993 bomb blast case. She too faced charges of aiding and abetting terror acts, but was acquitted in September 2006 due to lack of evidence.

Yakub's another brother Suleiman was well mannered and loved cricket like his father. He was arrested with other members of the Memon family in 1994 and was accused of aiding and abetting terror acts. He was granted bail after few years of his arrest and ultimately acquitted for lack of evidence.

Suleiman's wife Rubina was, however, was convicted by the TADA court and sentenced to life imprisonment, as a Maruti van used in the bomb blasts was registered in her name. This van was found abandoned at Worli and Ak-56 rifles and hand grenades found in it.

The accused had abandoned this vehicle as they heard noise and thought that it was an explosion. They were allegedly on a mission to go to the municipal headquarters in south Mumbai and open fire at the corporators.

Rubina, however, defended herself saying she was a housewife and that certain property of the family was registered in her name though she had not taken any part in the bomb blasts conspiracy.

Tiger's another brother Essa was also arrested along with other members of Memon family. He was diagnosed with a tumour and had sought acquittal on grounds of ill-health. However, the TADA court convicted him. He is serving life sentence in Aurangabad Jail.

Yusuf, another of the Memon siblings, was also among those arrested. He was suspected to be suffering from schizophrenia. He was convicted by TADA court and is now serving life sentence in Aurangabad prison.

Ayub, the eldest son of Abdul Razak and Hanifa, is absconding and believed to be staying with Tiger in Pakistan.

The 1993 bomb blasts case was one the longest in the history of Indian judicial system, having lasted for 14 years.

Complete coverage: Yakub Memon's death sentence


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