MUMBAI:A full circle was completed for City Police Commissioner Rakesh Maria, who was on his legs for more than four hours monitoring the law and order situation when Yakub Memon’s body reached city suburb Mahim from Nagpur.
Maria, then Deputy Commissioner of Police (Traffic), had got the first clue of the role of Memons in the serial bomb blasts, when he had visited their house in Al Hussaini building at Mahim on March 13, 1993, a day after the blasts, as a part of the probe. Two days before Maria zeroed in on them, the Memons had left for Dubai.
On arrival from Nagpur, Yakub Memon’s body, wrapped in a white shroud, was taken to his younger brother Suleman’s house in Bismillah building, a five-minute walkable distance from Al Hussaini, where the bombs used for the 12 blasts were fitted to the carrier vehicles.
Maria kept a close watch on hundreds of people gathered near Suleman’s house for offering prayers. Three teams of Rapid Action Force and five teams of Quick Response Team were also deployed in the area. The residents had a plan to offer a prayer at nearby famous Mahim Dargah. But the plan was later changed in view of the sentiments of thousands of devotees who offer prayers there every morning.
Memon’s body was kept at Suleman’s house for nearly two hours and then taken to Bada Kabrastan, a Muslim burial ground at Charni Road in South Mumbai. The burial procedure began around 4.40 pm and lasted for an hour.
The city police had deployed a heavy force to maintain law and order and also detained 526 people with criminal records before the hanging itself. Police spokesperson Dhananjay Kulkarni said that about 25,000 policemen were deployed all over the city. “There were 5,000 officers. As many as 12 companies of State Reserve Police Force were also deployed. Five Joint Commissioners of Police and all six Additional Commissioners of Police were on the field,” he said.
The city police’s total strength is 40,000, which means more than half of the police force was on the road to maintain law and order. It was the biggest police deployment since November 26, 2008, terror attacks.
Ban on Gathering Flouted
Rule: Gathering of more than four people at a spot banned in view of Memon’s hanging and his burial in Mumbai suburb
Reality: Huge crowd near Memon’s brother Suleman’s house.
Rule: The family will not take out funeral procession
Reality: Suleman’s undertaking on the same not kept
Rule: No Sloganeering
Reality: Police had to make several appeals against shouting of slogans
Rule: Police ban on filming of the body and funeral
Reality: Several people flouted the ban