SECURITY across Maharashtra and especially in Mumbai was beefed up on Wednesday afternoon immediately after the Supreme Court rejected a petition by 1993 serial bomb blasts convict Yakub Memon seeking a stay on his execution. The hanging is scheduled for 7 am on Thursday in Nagpur .
Maharashtra Governor C Vidyasagar Rao also rejected Yakub’s mercy plea.
The Nagpur jail has already made arrangements to carry out the execution. Looking at the sensitive nature of the case, the Quick Response Team (QRT), an elite and armed wing of the Mumbai Police created after the 26/11 attack, has been pressed into service to take care of security arrangements. A QRT team has also been placed outside Yakub’s cell and will be on guard outside the cell till he is taken to the gallows, said Maharashtra Police sources.
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After the scheduled execution, a postmortem would be conducted following which the body will be handed over to family members. The body would then be flown to Mumbai by Thursday afternoon.
In the financial capital, the Mumbai Police have chalked an elaborate plan to ensure there that no law and order problems are caused while the family performs the final rituals. Around 5,000 police men have been pressed to guard Yakub’s Mahim residence and the graveyard where the burial will take place.
“People with criminal antecedents are being taken into preventive custody and would be kept under detention until the rituals are completed,” the official added.
The police have also asked community leaders to appeal for peace in the city. “Last week we had a meeting with Muslim leaders and they have been requested to appeal to the public not to be carried away by any rumours and to maintain peace. Such appeals have been asked to be made during the aazans,” the official added.
Source say that anyone trying to politicise the matter will also be taken into custody. “If any religious leader wants to participate in the final rituals he won’t be stopped provided the family is okay with his presence and provided that he does not make any speech during the final journey or at the graveyard,” the source added.
When contacted, Joint Commissioner (Law and Order) Deven Bharti refused to share details of the arrangements but said adequate measures have been taken. “We have taken adequate measures and whoever takes law into their hand would be dealt with accordingly,” he said.