Yakub Memon on Wednesday stoically resigned to fate soon after learning that the Supreme Court bench had upheld his death warrant . Later, he spent 40 minutes consoling his family at Nagpur’s central prison, asking them to submit to ‘naseeb’.
The 1993 blasts convict, who will be hanged at 6 am on Thursday, was shifted in the small hours to the ‘condemned cell’, where he was out of sight of other prisoners and supposed to mentally prepare himself for his final moments. At 4 am, a magistrate was scheduled to visit and ask him if he admitted to his guilt.
According to sources in the Nagpur jail, the apex court’s decision was conveyed to Yakub shortly after his lunch. But he didn’t appear perturbed or agitated throughout the afternoon, they said. “Yakub did not lose composure, perhaps giving in to destiny. It seemed he was prepared for the worst. He patiently heard about the verdict and then retired to his cell,” the sources added.
When jail authorities offered to allow his family to meet him for ‘mulaqat’ on Wednesday evening, Yakub agreed. In the evening, Yakub’s wife, daughter and brother met him for the last time in a special room inside the jail.
The last meeting between Yakub and family was understandably an emotional affair. While the family members could not control their emotions, Yakub – who appeared somewhat shaken then – tried to maintain his composure and consoled them. “They were left inside the room, but under watch,” the sources said.
Yakub was later subjected to a medical test and found mentally and physically fit, police sources said. After this, a Bomb Detection & Disposal Squad was sent to sanitise the place.
Speaking about Yakub’s last two weeks in the jail, sources said he didn’t share anything with other prison mates but was confident of a favourable outcome, especially after his family told him that eminent lawyers, judges, politicians and journalists were supportive of his curative petition.
Yakub almost stopped eating in the past few days and, as a result, was put on drip. However, this could not be independently verified by Mail Today. Sources also said that five Maoists lodged at the Nagpur Central Jail were on fast in support of Yakub’s mercy petition.
“He was well behaved. He didn’t discuss anything with anyone in the jail. But in the past few weeks, he started getting desperate to meet family members for updates regarding his curative petition. There were many such meetings in the past week and after each meeting, he looked more disturbed. But before the next meeting, he again looked charged,” sources in Nagpur jail said.
Meanwhile, Nagpur Police have invoked Section 144 of CrPC (prohibiting the congregation of more than five persons) within 500 metres periphery of the jail, where Yakub will be hanged at 6 am on Thursday. Even the media paraphernalia will not be allowed into the restricted area till the hanging is over, Nagpur police sources said.
Nobody is sure as to what steps the government would take to perform the last rites of Yakub, with the authorities also making arrangements on the Nagpur jail premises to give him a burial as per Islamic rites.
The district authorities said they have not yet received any request from family members to accept Yakub’s last remains, but any such proposal would be considered, if and when received. “If there is any request from the family, then his body would be handed over to themâ€¦or the jail superintendent would decide on performing his last rites as per the laid down procedures,” a home ministry official said.