yakub memon
1993 Mumbai serial blasts convict Yakub MemonIANS

Dawood Ibrahim's close aide Chhota Shakeel has warned of "consequences" for the "legal murder" of Yakub Memon, who was executed by hanging at the Nagpur Central Jail on Thursday for his involvement in the 1993 serial blasts in Mumbai.

Shakeel claimed that Yakub was "innocent" and was punished for his elder brother Tiger Memon's deeds. He said that by executing the "innocent" the Indian government has sent across a message of "betrayal", and now no other fugitives would trust Indian intelligence and want to return to India.

"Ujjawal Nikam ne bola ki ek message de rahe hain un logon ko...Yaar haemin message den eke liye begunaaho ko faasi pe latka rahe ho," Shakeel told The Times of India over the telephone.

"What message has the Indian government sent across? You have punished an innocent man for his brother's act. The company condemns it. It's a legal murder... Woh (consequences) to hoga hi," he said, and added, "Nobody will believe your agencies if they make a promise next time. Nobody will trust the Indian government in future".

Shakeel referred to an earlier revelation that India's most wanted underworld don Dawood Ibrahim had offered to return to India but on the condition of fair trial and said he (Dawood) would have been treated the same way had he trusted the Indian government.

"Dawood bhai would have been meted the same fate if he would have come at that time... it is clear now," he said and added that Tiger was the main culprit behind the 1993 bombings in Mumbai, not Yakub.

"His role is mentioned in the chargesheet. But the government prosecuted someone who had taken audios and videos as evidence with him. He did not agree with the accused and decided to be lawful. What did he get?" Shakeel said.

'Yakub trusted Indian intelligence'

Shakeel said Yakub had put his trust on Indian intelligence when he decided to return to India and believed that he would be awarded justice. But he, along with his family, had to suffer the consequences of not listening to his brother Tiger, Shakeel said. Tiger had warned Yakub that he and his family "would be hounded" in India if he returns.

" His( Yakub) family's visa was put up in Dubai. He called his family there and then surrendered. What for? What has changed with this execution? Have you received anything new? He has suffered... Somebody has done something but you punish his brother. His brother is mental, you punished him too... mother too... Bring him and hang the one who has done it," Shakeel said.

"Somebody trusted a government but the government breached the trust. The company doesn't have any faith in the government Who will come back to get killed? His wife came to India with a few months old child and stayed in jail for months.. What justice is this.. He cooperated but what did you do to him..." he added.

'You don't trust your own men'

Referring to late Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) officer Raman Singh's article dated 2007, in which he had said Yakub "deserved life imprisonment not hanging" because he had cooperated with Indian intelligence in seeking valuable information on Tiger, Dawood and Pakistan's involvement in 1993 Mumbai blasts.

"First of all. You don't trust your officers! B Raman and many others... nobody trusted his writing... Dilli ka ek officer... CBI ka... usne bola ki iska role nahi hai... par tum logo ne uska believe nahi kiya..." Shakeel said.

Yakub, a chartered accountant by profession, was hanged till death early on Thursday morning after his lawyers failed at all their attempts to seek stay on his execution. His body was handed over to his family in Mahim, Mumbai, where he was buried later in the evening.

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