Afzal Guru hanged in Delhi for Parliament attack

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Old 09-Feb-2013
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Afzal Guru hanged in Delhi for Parliament attack

Afzal Guru, convicted for his role in the attack on Parliament in December 2001, was executed at 8 this morning at Delhi's Tihar Jail. Sources say has been buried at the jail.

President Pranab Mukherjee rejected Guru's mercy petition on February 3, clearing the way for his execution. He was hanged at the high security cell no 3 at Tihar, where he spent over eight years on death row. (Afzal Guru to be buried at Delhi's Tihar Jail, say sources)

A formal announcement is expected soon. Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde told NDTV that all legal procedure was followed in Guru's execution. Home Secretary RK Singh denied the allegation from some quarters that Guru's wife, Tabassum and family were not informed about his mercy petition being rejected, saying that they had been sent a speed post and registered letter.

Mr Shinde said the Centre is closely watching the situation in Kashmir, where curfew has been imposed in all 10 districts of the Valley to prevent violent reactions. Cable TV services have been disconnected in some parts; Afzal Guru belonged to Sopore in Kashmir and many in the state Guru was not given a fair trial. Chief Minister Omar Abdullah has said repeatedly that Guru's hanging could have grave consequences. He was in Delhi this morning and has rushed back to his state. (Curfew declared in Kashmir Valley)

Afzal Guru was given the death sentence by the Supreme Court in 2004. His hanging, scheduled for October 20, 2006, was stayed after his wife filed the mercy petition, which had been pending with the President's office since.

The main opposition party, the BJP, has for long questioned the delay. Today, the BJP said the execution was "delayed but is undoubtedly welcome." "The people of this country had been waiting for this for a long time. This is a right step in the fight against terrorism," BJP's Rajiv Pratap Rudy said.

The politically-sensitive decision to go ahead with the execution is aimed at signalling the government's commitment to fighting terror. In November, in a similar secret operation, Pakistani terrorist Ajman Kasab, caught during the 26/11 attacks in Mumbai, was executed at a jail in Pune.

On December 13, 2001, five heavily-armed terrorists drove into the Parliament complex and opened fire. Nine people were killed, most of them members of the security forces. All the terrorists were shot dead.

Both Houses of Parliament had just been adjourned and many MPs and ministers, including then Deputy Prime Minister LK Advani were still inside.

A few days later, Afzal Guru was arrested and accused of planning the attack.

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