Nagpur: On Wednesday, hours before he was hanged in the Nagpur Central Jail, Yakub Memon, convicted for his role in the 1993 Mumbai blasts, said his hanging had been politicised and now only a miracle could save him from gallows.
"My hanging has been politicised. I know that I am going to die. Only miracle can save me," 1993 Mumbai blast convict Yakub Memon told a home guard who was posted near his barrack on Wednesday morning.
The home guard told Mid-Day that Yakub, who usually remained calm, was looking disturbed on Wednesday.
"He normally never interacted with us. But, (on Wednesday) he asked me several times what had happened in the Supreme Court, which was going to decide his fate," the home guard said.
Yakub Memon, convicted in the March 12, 1993 Mumbai bomb blasts, was hanged till death at the Nagpur Central Jail in Maharashtra on Thursday morning, officials said.
Crowd were seen cheering and shouting slogans 'Bharat Mata ki Jai', and taking selfies outside the Nagpur jail, according to journalist Rana Ayub.
Yakub Memon was sent to the gallows -- on his 54th birthday on Thursday -- after several of his court appeals and clemency petitions were rejected by various courts, including the Bombay High Court, the Supreme Court, the Maharashtra governor and the president of India.
Memon was hanged at 6.35 a.m. A medical team at the jail pronounced him dead a short while later.
His body was sent for an autopsy by a medical team from a Nagpur government hospital, before being cleared for the last rites.
He will be buried inside the Nagpur Central Jail complex, official sources said here.
The jail authorities declined a demand to hand over the body to Memon's family and will go ahead with the burial at an isolated area inside the sprawling jail premises after the autopsy report is received.
The entire hanging operation was witnessed by a magistrate and video recorded, as per norms.
His kin - Sulaiman Memon and Usman Memon - remained locked up inside their hotel room nearby in a state of shock after the hanging, while Memon's wife and daughter were at an undisclosed location.
It is not immediately clear if they would be permitted to attend the last rites.
The last of the legal procedures continued till barely a couple of hours before the execution this morning before sunrise.
Memon was the first -- and only convict out of 100 in the 1993 Mumbai bomb blasts case -- whose hanging was upheld by the Supreme Court.
The death sentence of 11 others was commuted to life.
A Mumbai Special Court had sentenced him to death in July 2007.
The death warrant was issued by a Special TADA Court judge on April 29, scheduling the execution for July 30.
Maharashtra had started preparations for the noose for Memon almost three weeks ago.
Memon filed a fresh appeal in the Supreme Court, followed by a clemency plea with the Maharashtra governor, again a fresh plea in the apex court and a final appeal with the president of India.
He got no relief from any quarters, paving the way for his execution.
The Supreme Court on early Thursday rejected a last ditch attempt by 1993 Mumbai serial blasts convict Yakub Memon to stall his execution.
Memon had challenged the rejection of his mercy petition by the president.
Past midnight on Thursday, the apex court bench comprising Justice Dipak Misra, Justice Prafulla C. Pant and Justice Amitava Roy rejected Memon's plea seeking 14 days' time before the execution of his death sentence is carried out.