NEW DELHI -- In a chilling phone conversation with a leading newspaper, an aide to underworld kingpin Dawood Ibrahim has threatened that there will be 'consequences' for the hanging of Yakub Memon, who was found guilty in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case that killed 257 people and injured hundreds.
Chhota Shakeel, one of the key accused in the case, told Times of India that India committed "legal murder" and closed all future doors for negotiations by its intelligence agencies to secure the return of Dawood, who was allegedly the mastermind behind the coordinated attacks.
"Dawood bhai would have been meted the same fate if he would have come at that time... it is clear now," Shakeel said.
"What message has the Indian government sent across? You have punished an innocent man for his brother's act. The company condemns it. It's a legal murder," Shakeel said.
"Woh (consequences) to hoga hi," he said referring to possible backlash.
Memon, a chartered accountant, was hanged shortly before 7:00 am on Thursday morning at the Nagpur Central Jail.
Memon's body was handed over to his family by the Maharashtra government on three conditions: no public procession, funeral in a timely manner, no public release of the photograph. On Thursday, Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi said justice had prevailed for the families of those who lost their lives in the 1993 Mumbai blasts.
"I am happy that the long process has come to an end. The convict was given opportunity for 22 years. Memon's review petition and mercy petitions were dismissed. He also got the right to have second review plea heard in an open court," Rohatgi told PTI.
The media was barred by Mumbai Police from photographing and videographing the funeral procession of Memon in an order to prevent any breach of peace. The 13-hour ban order that was in force from 11 am was issued by Deputy Commissioner of Police (operations) Sanjay Barkund even as the Maharashtra government kept tabs on the Internet and social media to ensure that hate messages on platforms like Twitter and Whatsapp did not stir passions.
After the order was issued, TV channels refrained from videographing the funeral procession and the last rites of the lone death row convict in the 1993 Mumbai blasts case.
Shakeel said nobody will now buy the Indian government's promises in the future.
"Nobody will believe your agencies if they make a promise next time. Nobody will trust the Indian government in future."
An angry Shakeel claimed the government "prosecuted someone who had taken audios and videos as evidence with him" and down a man who "did not agree with the accused and decided to be lawful."
"What has changed with this execution? Have you received anything new? He has suffered... Somebody has done something but you punish his brother. His brother is mental, you punished him too... mother too... Bring him and hang the one who has done it," he said.
He said "the company doesn't have any faith in the government." D-Company is a term used for Dawood's organized mafia group.
"Dilli ka ek officer... CBI ka... usne bola ki iska role nahi hai... par tum logo ne uska believe nahi kiya...," he said referring to late RAW official B Raman, had favoured clemency for Yakub on the ground that he had cooperated with investigating agencies and does not deserve to be hanged. Raman, who retired as Additional Secretary in 1994 and was in-charge of counter-terrorism, had written an article for publication containing this view but stopped it from seeing the light of the day.
(With inputs from agencies)