Monday, 30th October 2017

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Final resting place by the side of film stars and dons

Yakub Memon was buried today at the 7.5-acre Bada Qabristan in Mumbai's Marine Lines, one of the largest Muslim cemeteries in India.

By Samyabrata Ray Goswami in Mumbai
  • Published 31.07.15
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Yakub Memon’s brother Suleiman outside Nagpur Central Jail after the execution. (PTI)

Mumbai, July 30: Yakub Memon was buried today at the 7.5-acre Bada Qabristan in Mumbai's Marine Lines, one of the largest Muslim cemeteries in India.

It's the final resting place for Bollywood luminaries like Suraiya, Nargis Dutt, Mehboob Khan and Jaddanbai, the first woman music director in India and Nargis's mother.

Also buried there are underworld dons such as Karim Lala and Haji Mastan. But Bada Qabristan, run by the Jama Masjid trust here, had refused any space to the Pakistani gunmen who carried out the 26/11 attacks.

Yakub was buried at " Ota 20" (grave number 20). Even before the body had arrived from Nagpur around 12.30pm, the Mumbai police had instructed the media not to "photograph and/or videograph during transportation of the corpse of Yakub Memon - the accused in Mumbai 1993 bomb blast".

By then the police had conducted two flag marches in the predominantly Muslim areas. They were led by police commissioner Rakesh Maria who, as a young deputy commissioner (traffic) in 1993, had cracked the blast case and identified some members of the Memon family as key suspects.

Maria was recently involved in controversy after pictures of him and his wife meeting Lalit Modi in London were beamed by television channels. The former IPL czar is wanted for questioning by the Enforcement Directorate.

The reporters hung around and about 4,000 people gathered at Dargah Road and Cadell junction after Yakub's body reached Bismillah Manzil, one of the buildings owned by the Memons in the area.

The body was taken to a third-floor apartment, owned by Yakub's elder brother Suleiman, who had escorted it from Nagpur along with a cousin.

A large crowd gathered outside Bismillah Manzil soon after, the numbers swelling by the time the namaz-e-janaza began to be read outside the nearby Mahim dargah.

"Among the visitors, many came from Dongri, where the Memons used to live in Khidiya Chawl when Yakub and the other brothers were growing up," a police source said.

A little later, the police announced over the loudspeaker that the namaz-e-janaza would be held at Bada Qabristan, where Yakub was to be buried, and the crowd dispersed.

"The family was in constant touch with the police about the burial arrangements. There were no surprises for us," Yakub's cousin Abdul Memon told The Telegraph on being asked whether the police had rushed them with the funeral.

Yakub's body was taken in a hearse to Bada Qabristan as part of a police convoy, which included an SUV carrying Suleiman and Yakub's wife Rahin and daughter Zubeda.

It was past 5.45pm when the Memon family drove away from Bada Qabristan, an hour and a half after Yakub's body had been brought to the cemetery.

The namaz-e-janaza at the funeral site was attended by "200 to 300" people, the police said. "They were not there together. In all, 200 to 300 people walked in and out from his burial site during the funeral rituals," the police source said.