India has carried out the execution of Yakub Memon, the man convicted of financing the deadly 1993 Mumbai bombings.

Memon was hanged at a prison in Nagpur in the western state of Maharashtra.

The serial blasts killed 257 people, and were allegedly to avenge the killing of Muslims in riots a few months earlier.

India rarely carries out death sentences – only three other people have been executed since 2004.

There was tight security around the Nagpur prison on Thursday morning, and in parts of the state capital, Mumbai.

The March 1993 blasts targeted a dozen sites, including the Bombay Stock Exchange, the offices of national carrier Air India and a luxury hotel.

Yakub Memon with a police guard in Mumbai– Memon was sentenced to death in 2007 after being convicted of providing financial and logistical support for the bombings.

Memon was hanged hours after the Supreme Court dismissed a final plea to stay the sentence.

His lawyers had argued that executions can only be carried out after seven days have passed following the rejection of a mercy petition.

The court opened its doors in the dead of the night to hear his last appeal for mercy, but rejected it just before dawn.

The court ruled that because his first mercy petition had been rejected last year, the execution met the required rules, said media reports.

 

Memon, a chartered accountant, was sentenced to death in 2007 by a special court in Mumbai after being convicted of providing financial and logistical support for the bombings.

Indian police officer at scene of bombings in Mumbai, 1993– The bombings killed at least 257 people in Mumbai

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

The additional chief secretary of the state government confirmed to the BBC that Memon’s body would not be buried inside the prison compound, and would be handed over to his family once a post-mortem had been carried out.

History of Mumbai attacks

March 1993: Series of explosions kill 257 people and injure 713

August 2003: Four bomb attacks kill 52 people

July 2006: Seven bombs go off on crowded trains within 11 minutes, killing more than 180 people and wounding hundreds

November 2008: Gunmen carry out a series of co-ordinated attacks across seven high-profile locations, including two luxury hotels, city’s main commuter train station, a hospital, a restaurant and a Jewish centre, killing 165 people. Pakistan-based militants blamed for the attacks and peace efforts between the two countries derailed. Nine of the attackers also killed. Pakistani national Mohammad Ajmal Amir Qasab, who was captured alive, hanged in November 2012

July 2011: Three near-simultaneous explosions during Mumbai’s evening rush hour kill 18 people and injure 131

via India executes Mumbai bomb plotter Yakub Memon – BBC News.

A history of intercommunal Hindu-Muslim violence in India

The Mumbai riots that Mr Memon claimed to be the reason for his support of the bombings took place in December 1992 and January 1993, in which around 900 people died. The riots were mainly due to escalations of hostilities after large scale protests (initially peaceful then turned violent) by Muslims in reaction to 1992 Babri Masjid Demolition by Hindu Karsevaks in Ayodhya.

On December 6, 1992, a large crowd of Hindu Kar Sevaks (“volunteers”) entirely destroyed the 16th-century Babri Masjid in AyodhyaUttar PradeshIndia, believed to have been built on the site of an earlier Hindu temple on the land known as Ram Janmabhoomi (the purported birthplace of the Hindu god Rama). The demolition occurred after a rally supporting the movement turned violent and resulted in several months of intercommunal rioting between India’s Hindu and Muslim communities, causing the death of at least 2,000 people.

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