ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Yakub's Tragedy

The hanging of Yakub Memon betrays the trust of the Indian state in his return of the wealth of information he had provided against the perpetrators of the Bombay bomb blasts of 1993.

The flower-bedecked body being taken out of the ambulance brought home the reality—this was the man who’d come back to his own country, expecting to live as an Indian. This lifeless body was that of Yakub Memon, the man I’d never met, but whose luckless story I had been tracking ever since the death sentence was first pronounced on him in 2007.

I had not believed he would be hanged—just as he himself hadn’t.  All through his long and unfair imprisonment, until the very last day, he had believed he would go home, once the facts of his own role and his return from a protected life in Pakistan became known to the judges. Well, he did come home for sure—but as a corpse. That’s what his government had given him in return for the wealth of information he had provided  against the perpetrators of the first terrorist attack in the country, against his own brother and the ISI—information they couldn’t have got from anywhere else. This was the government’s way of repaying his trust, which made him bring back his family with him. His mother, who had also been thrown into jail, had to see him go to his grave.

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