Mumbai bomb plotter on death row loses final appeal

GavelIndia’s top court on Tuesday rejected a final appeal by Yakub Memon, a key plotter of a series of bomb attacks that killed hundreds in Mumbai two decades ago, paving the way for his execution.

Media reports said Memon would hang on July 30 — more than two decades after the deadliest attacks ever to hit India — after the Supreme Court rejected his final plea.

The Bombay Stock Exchange, the offices of Air India and a luxury hotel were among the targets of the March 1993 blasts, which killed 257 people in India’s western business hub.

The attacks were believed to have been staged by Mumbai’s Muslim-dominated underworld in retaliation for anti-Muslim violence that had killed more than 1,000 people.

Executions are only carried out for “the rarest of rare” cases in India.

But President Pranab Mukherjee has rejected a number of mercy pleas in recent years, ending an unofficial eight-year moratorium.

A Kashmiri separatist convicted of involvement in a deadly 2001 attack on the Indian parliament was executed in New Delhi in 2013 while the lone surviving gunman from the deadly 2008 Mumbai attacks was hanged in 2012.

Yakub Memon, an accountant by profession, is the brother of Tiger Memon, the alleged mastermind of the 1993 attacks, who has been on the run ever since.

The bombings also embroiled Bollywood star Sanjay Dutt who was convicted and spent time in jail for buying weapons from gangsters accused of orchestrating the bombings.

Memon was the only one of 11 people convicted for the 1993 attacks to have his death sentence upheld. The sentences on the others were commuted to life imprisonment.

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