Yaqub Abdul Razzak Memon: Chartered Accountant and Conspirator

To many, Yakub Memon will always be a terrorist. But he was more than that. 

2 min read
Yakub Memon’s final mercy plea was rejected by the President on Wednesday (Photo: Reuters/The Quint)

On March 12, 1993, 13 bomb blasts ripped through Mumbai (then Bombay) killing 350 people and injuring 1200. Twenty two years since, justice is somewhat being meted out to those whose lives had changed forever that day.

With Yakub Memon’s execution in the early hours of Thursday morning at Nagpur jail, we walk you through the life of a man whose genius spelt his demise.

The Chartered Accountant, the Scholar

Born on 30 July 1962 in Bombay, Yaqub Abdul Razzak Memon was raised in Byculla. After completing his schooling from a prominent English medium school, Memon went on to complete his Commerce degree from the Burhani College of Commerce and Arts.

In 1986, Memon enrolled into the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India, and four years later in 1990, he successfully graduated as a chartered accountant. The third of six sons of Abdul Razzak Memon, Yaqub turned out to be most educated in the Memon family.

A year later, he set up Mehta & Memon Associates along with a childhood friend Chetan Mehta. A year later, they parted ways and Memon set up his independent firm, AR & Sons, in memory of his father.

With a consulting firm of his own, he rose into prominence to win the “Best Chartered Accountant of the Year” award from the city’s Memon community.

Later, he branched out into exports and set up a company, Tejrath International, to export meat and meat products to the Gulf and Middle East.

Yakub: Transition to Criminal Conspiracy

Brother to Tiger Memon — the prime accused and the mastermind of the 1993 Bombay blasts — Yakub had allegedly handled Tiger’s funds and funded the training of 15 youths whom he sent to Pakistan to learn the art of handling arms and ammunition.

While Yakub, along with other members of the Memon family had left the country just before and after the 1993 blasts, according to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), Yakub later returned. The reports are contentious, but it seems clear that he returned voluntarily and was formally arrested on August 5, 1994, from New Delhi Railway Station.

On July 27, 2007, Yakub was charged under the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities Act (TADA) and Section 120-b of the IPC with criminal conspiracy, aiding and abetting and facilitating a terrorist act, arranging funds and vehicles, for planting bombs and possessing detonators and hand grenades that had been used in the 1993 serial blasts.

However, the scholar in Yakub Memon remained intact. His conviction and the resultant death sentence did not deter him from pursuing his education further. While serving his prison term, Yakub attained a Master’s degree in English Literature in 2013, followed by a Master’s degree in Political Science in 2014 from the Indira Gandhi National Open University.

Yakub’s hanging will be the first execution in the 1993 Bombay serial blasts.

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