Despite the TADA court finding him and 31 others guilty of involvement in the 1993 Mumbai blasts case, Yakub Memon – who was awarded death sentence – claimed that he and the other convicts were 'innocent' and wrongly being called 'terrorists'.
The TADA court in Mumbai had pronounced its verdict on 12 September, 2006, sentencing Yakub Memon and 11 other convicts to death, giving life term to 20 others and acquitting three accused.
On the judgement day, an otherwise reticent Yakub Abdul Razak Memon shouted that he was not behind the serial bombings, reports The Indian Express.
The bombings in Mumbai on 12 March, 1993 left at least 257 people dead and over 700 injured.
"We do not want to engage lawyers to argue on quantum of sentence...13 years have passed and innocent people are being called terrorists... We have already been branded as terrorists and shall face the consequences," Yakub said after TADA court declared its verdict.
It was, however, not the first time Yakub had expressed his emotions. A few days before being convicted for the blasts, Memon ran towards TADA judge JN Patel and said, "Tiger was right in telling me that I should not go to India with family as we would be hounded."
Tiger Memon is Yakub Memon's elder brother and one of the prime accused in the 1993 Mumbai bombings.
Tiger and the mastermind of the bomb blasts, Dawood Ibrahim, have been absconding since then and are allegedly hiding in Pakistan, while the sole death row convict Yakub Memon was hanged to death on 30 July, 2015, at Nagpur Central Jail.
Yakub wanted to come back to India and "clear his name". He reached Kathmandu in 1994 to meet his lawyer-brother to discuss about "surrendering" to Indian authorities, but was advised against it. Yakub was set to return to Dubai but was caught by Nepal police, which handed him over to Indian intelligence agencies.
Yakub is said to have cooperated with Indian intelligence agencies and provided significant evidence against Ibrahim and Tiger in the 1993 serial bombings.
"Yakub and his family came back to India, as he insists in his letter to the Supreme Court, to "wipe out the stigma attached to our name" and because they had "faith in our government and judiciary" to do justice. Were they wrong to do so? Yakub brought with him a pile of documentary evidence that not only proved his innocence but had been critical to building the prosecution's case in the Bombay blasts case against Dawood and Tiger Memon. He cooperated with the investigating agencies and provided vital leads which have been acknowledged," Caravan Daily reports.