yakub memon
1993 Mumbai serial blasts convict Yakub MemonIANS

The Maharashtra government started preparations to hang the 1993 Mumbai blasts convict, Yakub Memon, soon after the Supreme Court on Wednesday rejected his petition challenging the death warrant issued by a special Tada court of Mumbai.

Late in the evening, President Pranab Mukherjee also rejected Memon's mercy petition -- third since he lost all his appeals against capital sentence -- leaving no chance of escaping the gallows.

It was the second time that the President had rejected Memon's mercy plea, while Maharashtra Governor C Vidyasagar Rao also dismissed his mercy petition earlier in the day.

The President's decision came within the same day after hectic consultations with the ministry of home affairs (MHA) officials.

In fact, Home Minister Rajnath Singh called on the President at the Rashtrapati Bhavan late in the evening. The meeting lasted nearly an hour.

Rajnath, before leaving for the meeting with the President, had made it clear that he will advise him to reject Memon's latest mercy plea.

Security tightened in Nagpur

In the meantime, security was tightened around the Nagpur Central Jail and restrictions were imposed under CrPC Section 144.

Several ambulances and emergency vehicles also were spotted near the prison premises.

Soon after the SC verdict, Yakub Memon's brothers Suleman and Usman were seen visiting him at the Nagpur jail.

The prison officials also conducted a medical test on Memon and declared both mentally and physically fit for the capital punishment.

If the President declines his mercy petition, Memon is all set to be hanged on Thursday morning at 7 a.m. (0130 GMT) on his 53rd birthday, for planning the 2007 attack in which 257 people were killed in series of explosions in Mumbai.

No relief for Memon

A three-judge bench of Supreme Court had earlier in the day quashed Memon's petition challenging the death warrant on the ground that it was issued even before Memon could exhaust all the legal remedies.

The apex court said there was no "legal fallacy" in the issuance of death warrant by the Tada court on April 30, scheduling Memon's execution for 30 July at Nagpur Central Jail, where he has been lodged. Incidentally, he death row convict turns 53 the day he is to be hanged.

Mumbai on Alert

Ahead of his hanging police have put, Mumbai was put on alert. IBNLive reported citing police sources that senior officials have urged the Muslim religious and community leaders to abstain from making any public statements on Memon's hanging.

The Quick Response Teams of police were deployed in several sensitive areas of the city, including the Al Hussaini building in Mahim area where the Memon family lives.


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