Yakub seemed reconciled to his fate on Wednesday, with his calm exterior not allowing other inmates to detect any possible inner turmoil. Known to be a very calm man, the only time his interior turmoil came to fore in the presence of jail officials was when he refused food offered to him on Wednesday.
Yakub, a chartered accountant, has completed two masters' degrees (political science and English literature) while in jail and also taught languages to other inmates. This has made him popular among other inmates, some of whom are reportedly on hunger strike to seek justice for him.
"I was an educated man but the Supreme Court failed to give me the justice which I deserved," Yakub was heard saying by fellow inmates and some police personnel. He had hoped to escape the gallows till the last moment, said a source.
He also had a discussion on the legal updates and other options left before him with local lawyer Anil Gedam and his brothers during his last meeting in the jail's mulaqat room, without much any tension in his expressions, said sources.
Meanwhile, till Wednesday evening, the Nagpur Central Jail administration had not asked any maulvi in the city to visit condemned convict Yakub Memon. But sources in the community said that the authorities would not do so considering the sensitive nature of the case and the tight security that had been put in place.
"It is impossible to believe no Muslim cleric was present. A member of the community is required to help him with Fazr ki namaaz or the morning prayers, to console him and ensure he was at peace with himself and the situation," said a committee member of a city mosque. "What the jail authorities must have done was to take the services of some maulvi known to them or a Muslim serving in the jail," he added.
A chapter in Quran, Surah Yasin is read to help those in pain or discomfort to die in peace and liberate the suffering soul, explained Imam of Jama Masjid of Mominpura Qari Khaleeque Ahmad. "A Quran must have been given to him he can recite this chapter," he said. "Among all voluntary appeals to Allah, Salat ul Hajat is observed for the purpose of completion of one`s particular Haajah (need). It is one of the ways to beg the Almighty for one's rightful wish. I think his family and Yakub himself must have offered this prayer several times during this period," the Imam speculated.
The services of a cleric are required post death and not much before, said Mohd Haroon Noorani, the Imam and secretary of Tanzeem Muslim Naujawanaine. "If the last rites are performed in the city then a maulana would be required to prepare the body and conduct the Namaaz-e-Janaza or the last prayer and supervise the burial," he added.