India executes man for role in 1993 Mumbai blasts

Updated: 2015-07-30 11:24


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NEW DELHI -- India executed Yakub Memon for his role in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts, after the country's Supreme Court rejected his last-minute plea to stop his hanging in an unprecedented pre-dawn hearing.

Memon was hanged on his 54th birthday at a jail in the western Indian state of Maharashtra's city of Nagpur around 7 a.m. local time, a senior official said.

His execution came two hours after the Supreme Court rejected his last-minute appeal to stay his hanging at a special hearing around 5 a.m. local time. President Pranab Mukherjee had turned down his clemency petition on Wednesday night.

Memon's lawyers told the Supreme Court that after a mercy plea is rejected, the death row prisoner can't be hanged for 14 days, according to rules. However, the three-judge bench, which had rejected his plea Wednesday, again turned down Memon's petition.

The court accepted the government lawyer's argument that Memon had enough time to appeal against the president's decision, when he had last year rejected his first mercy plea, which was filed by one of his brothers on his behalf.

Memon was sentenced to death for his role in the 1993 deadly attacks across several locations in Mumbai, in which nearly 260 people were killed. However, his brother Tiger Memon and underworld don Dawood Ibrahim, who masterminded the blasts, are on the run since the blasts.