MUMBAI: Even as the security experts have been flummoxed by the huge turnout of “mourners” at hanged Mumbai serial blasts’ convict Yakub Memon’s burial here on July 30, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has added to their worries by saying that a fugitive gangster had instigated the crowd to attend the funeral.
“There were no mourners at Mumbai Airport when Yakub’s body arrived there, but later probably the absconding gangsters instigated people to attend the funeral,” Fadnavis said in Nagpur.
No one except the members of Memon family was present at the airport when Yakub’s body was flown from Nagpur around 12:30 pm. However, when it reached his home in suburban Mahim there was a crowd of at least 2,000 people waiting outside his house. The crowd swelled to 15,000 when he was buried at Bada Kabrastan in Charni Road, around 20 km from his house.
A security expert said that Fadnavis’ statement has underpinned fugitive gangster Dawood Ibrahim’s “clout” in the city even 26 years after he fled the country. “It is really worrisome if he can instigate so many people for a certain cause. It should be taken with utmost seriousness because the crowd had defied the restrictions imposed on gathering in public place as the National Security Adviser (NSA) had camped in the city to oversee the security arrangements,” he said. Interestingly, NSA Ajit Doval had dodged a question on the massive turnout at Yakub’s funeral during a question-answer session following his lecture on security here last week.
Fadnavis, however, dismissed a media report claiming that Yakub’s fugitive elder brother Tiger Memon had called up their mother Hanifa minutes before Yakub was hanged in Nagpur, vowing to avenge his sibling’s execution.