MUMBAI: The grave of Yakub Memon, the only convict in the 1993 Mumbai serial bomb blasts case to be hanged, has allegedly been sold. Yakub, a chartered accountant, was buried at the Marine Lines Bada Qabrastan on July 30, 2015, after he was executed in Nagpur central prison. He was the younger brother of another 1993 blast accused, Tiger Memon.
Yakub’s cousin, Mohammed Abdul Rauf Memon, a businessman from the western suburbs, has lodged an FIR with the LT Marg police alleging that along with Memon’s, three more graves (also referred to as Otthas) were sold collectively for Rs 5 lakh.
The case was registered on March 19, but soon after that the police got busy with Covid-19 duty.
Police have now launched a probe and booked Jazil Navrange and Parvez Sarkare, who were trustees of the Juma Masjid of Bombay Trust under which the Muslim Bada Qabrastan (cemetery) is registered, when the alleged incident took place.
The Qabrastan properties are registered with the Waqf Board under the Waqf Act, 1995, and cannot be sold or purchased. The graves are given to families for maintenance only.
Rauf said his extended family has seven Otthas. If any family member dies, he or she is buried in these graves. “When I approached the accused inquiring about the maintenance fees, I learnt that out of seven Otthas, four were sold to Fayyaz Merchant and Anjum Merchant,” said Rauf. The Merchants are distant relatives of the Memons. As per cemetery records, the Otthas in question are registered in the name of Abdur Rehman Imamduddin, said a source from the cemetery office.
In the FIR, Rauf has alleged the sale took place between January 31 and September 28, 2019. “I learnt the four Otthas were sold by the two trustees for Rs 5 lakh. I approached the cemetery office and found that the receipts had a fake signature of the cemetery’s ‘nazim’ (manager). The receipts do not reflect in the computer records of the Juma Masjid Trust either,” added Rauf.
The police have issued a letter to the Qabrastan authorities asking them not to bury anyone in these four Otthas since the matter is under investigation. Rauf told the police he had paid Rs 3 lakh to get the Otthas back, but did not get a receipt from the accused.
A police officer said, “We have registered a case of cheating, forgery and theft and launched an investigation.”
TOI called up Navrange and Sarkare for comment on the matter, but their phones were switched off.