Mumbai, July 15: Questioning Maharashtra Government's decision over hanging 1993 Mumbai blasts convict Yakub Memon, who is on death row, NCP leader and MP Majeed Memon on Wednesday said that the former is being executed early just because he is a Muslim.
Reports claim that a death warrant has been issued against Yakub Abdul Razak Memon, mastermind of 1993 Mumbai blasts, is likely to be hanged by the end of this month.
"Government of Maharashtra is appearing to be interested in executing this man for political reasons, communal reasons, for extra legal considerations which God only knows but definitely suspicious on the conduct of the part of government of Maharashtra. It would definitely be easy because he is a Muslim that he has to be hanged early which is very sad," Majeed Memon, a leading criminal lawyer, was quoted by ANI as saying.
Majeed Memon, NCP MP, told IANS,"Are they pre-empting the issue or are they already before-hand aware of the outcome of the review petition? They should have waited till the matter is finally decided."
Meanwhile, Samajwadi Party MLA Abu Azmi criticised the state government over "leaking of Memon's execution date".
"Whatever we do will be made public at an appropriate time," Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis, was quoted as saying.
"The Supreme Court has made a decision on this issue. Whatever directives will be given by the court, the Maharashtra government will act according to that. We will provide more information on this matter when the time is right," Fadnavis said.
If the execution is carried out, it will be the first in connection with the violence that rocked Mumbai resulting in the death of over 250 people in 1993.
Media reports had said the execution will take place if Memon's plea is rejected by the Supreme Court, after his appeals against the death sentence were rejected by the apex court and by President Pranab Mukherjee.
Memon is lodged in Nagpur Central Jail, which reportedly has facility to carry out capital punishment. A senior prison official told PTI that any decision on the date of hanging will depend on the outcome of the curative petition in SC.
Memon, a key conspirator with Dawood Ibrahim in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case, is one of ten convicts awarded death penalty by a special TADA court.
His death sentence was upheld by a Supreme Court bench on March 21, 2013.
Meanwhile, Special Public Prosecutor in the case Ujjwal Nikam said that if the prime conspirator, Yakub Memon, is sent to the gallows, it will send a strong message in society.
"During the trial of 1993 serial blasts, it was proved that the conspiracy was hatched in Pakistan and some persons (Indians) were sent to Karachi via Dubai," Nikam told PTI.
Though Pakistan's hand in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts was established, the world did not believe it, he said. "After the 26/11 case, it is now proved that terrorism is sponsored by Pakistan," Nikam added.
(With inputs from agencies)