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Yakub Memon Marble tile decorated grave controversy

Yakub Memon Marble tile decorated grave controversy

Controversy has erupted over the 1993 Bombay burial site attacks convict Yakub Memon in Bombay, with the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) claiming the tomb was “beautified” and attempts were made to turn it into a kind of shrine.

The BJP claimed that Memon’s grave was “beautified” during Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray’s tenure as Maharashtra’s Prime Minister and sought his apology for it. However, the Sena leaders maintained that the party and the previous government of Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) had nothing to do with it and that it was dragging itself into the issue unnecessarily.

As dispute over the issue erupted, Mumbai police sprang into action on Thursday, removing LED lights placed around the grave of the convicted terrorist, who was hanged at Nagpur jail in 2015 and buried at Bada Qabrastan in southern Mumbai.

A DCP-level police officer will investigate how LED lights and marble mosaics came to “adorn” the convicted terrorist’s grave, an official said.

With some Maharashtra BJP leaders taking aim at Shiv Sena, led by Thackeray, the latter said the whole affair was an attempt to divert people’s attention from more important issues like inflation and unemployment.

BJP state chief Chandrashekhar Bawankule said Thackeray should apologize to the people of Mumbai and Maharashtra for this attempted “beautification” of the grave of a person responsible for killing 250 people.

In March 1993, Mumbai was rocked by 13 explosions that claimed 257 lives and injured more than 700.

Bombs went off at different sites in India’s financial capital with the first explosion at the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) at around 1:25 p.m. The other explosions occurred at the Air India building, government offices, many hotels, banks, a bus, cinemas, two hospitals, a university and markets, the BBC reported.

In January of that year, Mumbai witnessed clashes between Hindus and Muslims, which killed 500 people and caused some 40,000 people to flee the city.

The key conspirators in the bombings were mafia don Dawood Ibrahim Kaskar and his close assistant and Yakub’s brother, Ibrahim ‘Tiger’ Memon.

Just before the blasts, the Memon family had fled Mumbai on a flight to Dubai via Karachi. However, during the stopover in Karachi, they escaped and entered Pakistan, according to The Wire.

In August 1994, Yakub was arrested in New Delhi along with six members of his family, including three women. Tiger and his other brother, Ayub, reportedly stayed behind in Pakistan.

Yakub was accused of aiding, abetting and congratulating a terrorist act. He was also found guilty of financing the operation through a co-defendant Mulchand Shah and his companies, arranging plane tickets to Dubai and then Pakistan for six other defendants in the case, IANS reported.

His other charges included criminal conspiracy, purchase of vehicles used in the blasts, possession of explosives with intent to endanger lives, and illegal possession of weapons and ammunition.

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