Friday, February 6, 2015

On death row, Yakub Memon appears in MA political science exam

Vaibhav Ganjapure,TNN | Jun 7, 2014, 02.40 AM IST

NAGPUR: His conviction in the Bombay bomb blasts case of 1993 and the award of death penalty has not deterred Yakub Memon from pursuing his hobby of gaining knowledge. His penchant for education has led Yakub Memon, a chartered accountant by profession, to take admission in MA (Political Science) course and he is appearing for the second year exam now.

"He appeared in the first paper on Tuesday. He is given the question paper inside 'Fasi Yard' (high security ward) on the premises of Nagpur Central Jail, where he is on death row. Being a high profile prisoner, he is not allowed to go out," Indira Gandhi National Open University's (IGNOU) regional director P Sivaswaroop told TOI. He will appear in four more papers for the course, with the second scheduled on Monday. The exam would conclude on June 28.

Sivaswaroop pointed out that Memon was not the lone death row convict to appear in the MA exam. "Over 300 prisoners are appearing for various courses of IGNOU, which is certainly a good sign. For us, Memon is just like other jail birds serving various terms behind bars," he said.

Memon's mercy petition was recently rejected by President of India Pranab Mukherjee, but his death sentence has been stayed by a division bench of the Supreme Court comprising justice JS Khehar and justice C Nagappan on June 2 while serving notice to the Maharashtra government.

This younger brother of Tiger Memon, mastermind of 1993 blasts that killed 257 innocents and injured over 700, was initially sent to the gallows by the Mumbai TADA court in November 2006. Subsequently, his death penalty was confirmed by the Bombay High Court and he was transferred to Nagpur jail. The apex court's confirmation came on March 21 last year, which termed him as the "driving spirit" behind the blasts and "mastermind of terror". He then filed a clemency petition with the President.

The IGNOU director said that Memon had earlier completed his MA (English) in second division and was conferred with a degree during the convocation on April 12, 2013, at Nagpur University's Guru Nanak Hall. But since he was on death-row, police officials refused permission to him to attend the ceremony, unlike other prisoners.

Source: [last accessed 06.02.2015]

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