“I Came Back to my Motherland”: Yakub Memon’s Only Interview
Yakub Memon (R) has been sentenced to death. He has been convicted for his involvement in the 1993 Mumbai blasts. His brother Tiger (L) and Dawwod Ibrahim (centre) were also masterminds of the terror attack,
Yakub Memon (R) has been sentenced to death. He has been convicted for his involvement in the 1993 Mumbai blasts. His brother Tiger (L) and Dawwod Ibrahim (centre) were also masterminds of the terror attack,

“I Came Back to my Motherland”: Yakub Memon’s Only Interview

Yakub Memon, one of the prime accused in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case has been sentenced to death. Yakub’s brother Tiger was one of the masterminds of the terror attack and is now suspected to be in Pakistan. Tiger is a close associate of Dawood Ibrahim, also accused in the blasts.

A woman lights a lamp in front of a memorial to pay homage to victims of the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts, at one of the blast sites in Mumbai. (Photo: Reuters)
A woman lights a lamp in front of a memorial to pay homage to victims of the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts, at one of the blast sites in Mumbai. (Photo: Reuters)

Yakub was convicted for criminal conspiracy, aiding, abetting and facilitating a terrorist act, along with illegal possession and transportation of arms and ammunition.

The CBI claims that they arrested Yakub at New Delhi railway station on August 5, 1994 while Yakub insists that he turned himself in at Kathmandu airport on July 28, 1994. Yakub had fled to Pakistan with his family in 1993.

In August 1994, Yakub gave his only interview to Madhu Trehan of Newstrack, a video magazine started by the India Today group.

In the interview, he says he returned to India once he became aware of that his brother was involved in the blasts. He also gives a vivid account of how the Pakistan army and intelligence sheltered Tiger and his associates.

We were escorted by a Pakistani agent [in Karachi airport]. We did not complete any immigration formalities... His name was Asif. They took away my Indian passport and I was given a Pakistani passport.
– Yakub Memon to Newstrack, 1994

Yakub also insisted that he was unaware of his brother’s activities and that they weren’t close. However, he did admit that Tiger took care of his finances while was in Pakistan. The Memon family was living in the bungalow of one Taufiq Jalianwala, an associate of Tiger Memon’s who according to Yakub was involved in smuggling with his brother.

Yakub Memon. (Courtesy: Screengrab of Newstrack interview)
Yakub Memon. (Courtesy: Screengrab of Newstrack interview)

But that’s not all Taufiq was involved in.

During my stay in Pakistan I came to know that Taufiq Jalianwala, helped by ISIS of Pakistan [sic], were the masterminds of the blast. Tiger and his boys executed the attack. Even their training was done by the ISI in Pakistan... Taufiq told me “I have supplied the arms and explosives. I am the one who decided the spots to be attacked.”
– Yakub Memon to Newstrack, 1994

The real question though is why did Yakub return to India even though he had safe haven in Pakistan?

I was not enjoying my life there... I came back for my motherland.
– Yakub Memon to Newstrack, 1994

The Indian courts, at least do not believe his story. And as things stand now, Yakub will face the highest punishment for his crimes

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