India parliament attack plotter Afzal Guru hanged

Saturday, February 09, 2013
India Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru [FILE PHOTO]
New Delhi: Indian government hanged Kashmiri militants Afzal Guru on Saturday over his role in audacious attack on Parliament in 2001.

Briefing reporters in New Delhi, Indian Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde informed that Afzal Guru was hanged at 8 a.m. (IST).

“Afzal Guru was hanged at 8 a.m. All legal procedures were followed in the execution,” Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said shortly after the execution of the Jaish-e-Mohammad militant.

Guru, a former fruit seller was hanged at Tihar Jail on the outskirts of the capital after his final appeal for mercy was rejected by President Pranab Mukherjee.

Notably, Guru’s execution has came following hanging of Mumbai attack convict Ajmal Kasab on November 21, 2012 that too was  kept under wraps in a top secret operation.

But unlike Kasab's execution, which sparked celebrations in the streets, Guru's case was seen as more divisive.

Fathoming the fear of backlash over the execution that was shrouded in secrecy , a curfew has been imposed in parts of Indian-administered Kashmir  with sealing off the centre of the main city of valley.

43-year-old Guru, was sentenced to death in 2002 by a special court and later upheld by the Supreme Court in 2004.

While India’s main opposition party Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) welcomed the execution, one of Guru’s co-accused who was later cleared said it was a travesty of justice.

Five armed rebels stormed India’s parliament in New Delhi on December 13, 2001, killing eight police officers and a gardener before they were shot dead by security forces. A journalist wounded in the attack died months later.

As the decision to hang Guru emerged, security forces imposed a curfew in rural areas parts of Indian-administered Kashmir, with the announcement made by loudhailer as police patrolled the Kashmir Valley.

“The situation in Kashmir is being closely monitored,” Mr. Shinde added.

Few activists outfit has called the hanging “unfair” and said that Guru should have get a fair trial.

The Supreme Court of India in 2003 awarded death sentence to Guru, which was to to be carried out on October 20, 2006. However, the execution was stayed even as Afzal remained on death row.

The family of Guru residing in Sopore in north Kashmir was informed about the decision of the government that his mercy petition has been rejected.
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