“Main aur mera rab hi janta hai ki asliyat kya hai. Aap log toh duty kar rahe hain isliye main aapko maaf karta hoon (I and my God know the truth. You people are just doing your duty, so I forgive you).”
Those were the last words of 1993 Mumbai blasts convict Yakub Memon, seconds before he was escorted to the gallows, sources told The Indian Express.
“He didn’t appear shaky at all, he was not trembling. He seemed to be quite composed and ready to spend the last few minutes of his life in a dignified manner. He was brought out of his barrack at 6.50 am. His face was covered with a black cloth and hands tied at the back with three constables taking him over the ramp-like elevated concrete path leading to the gallows. Along the way, a constable just uttered the word ‘chappals’. Yakub understood what he meant right away. He immediately removed his slippers saying “Haan, nikal leta hoon” and walked the remaining distance without them.
Exactly at 7 am, Jail Superintendent Yogesh Desai pulled the iron lever making the trapdoor beneath Yakub’s feet drop. At 7.30 am, his body was brought down and the jail’s doctor declared him dead,” sources said, narrating the last 10 minutes of Yakub’s life.
The officials, sources claimed, had also made preparations to ensure that resistance, if any, coming from Yakub, could be dealt with promptly and properly. Therefore, three constables who had done the same job at Kasab’s hanging in Pune were deployed in Nagpur too.
Earlier, Yakub only slept for a few hours before being woken up by the jail authorities at around 5 am. “He took a bath, wore newly-stitched white clothes, had a cup of tea and also offered prayers before being brought out of his barrack around 6.50 am,” sources said.