A conspirator in the 1993 Mumbai blasts, India’s worst terrorist attack, had his final mercy plea rejected Tuesday, paving the way for his execution later this month, lawyers and local media have said.
A series of explosions rocked 13 places in Mumbai, including the Bombay Stock Exchange building, on March 12, 1993, killing 257 people and leaving no fewer than 700 injured.
Yakub Memon, 53, would be the first to be executed in connection with the attack.
An accountant by profession, he was found guilty of financing the bombings and was handed the death penalty by a Mumbai court in 2007.
A Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice HL Dattu rejected a petition filed by Memon asking for his death penalty to be commuted to life imprisonment.
The now retired judge, who sentenced Memon to death, PD Kode, told newsmen in Mumbai that the decision would be a `solace for the common people who kept faith in the judiciary, investigating agencies and those who believe in the rule of law.’
Prosecutor, Ujjwal Nikam, said Tuesday’s ruling meant there was no legal impediment in carrying out the execution scheduled for July 30.
Indian investigators say the 1993 bombings were aimed at avenging the demolition of the disputed Babri mosque by Hindu fanatics in 1991 and the subsequent killing of Muslims in the sectarian riots in Mumbai.
The alleged masterminds of the blasts, Dawood Ibrahim and his associate, Tiger Memon, have been on the run since then. Yakub is the younger brother of Tiger Memon.
Memon’s hanging is set to be the third execution in India in recent years after the hanging of 2008 Mumbai terrorism attack convict, Mohammad Kasab in 2012.
There had also been the hanging of Kashmiri man, Mohammad Guru, in 2013 for an attack on India’s parliament.