Afzal Guru, a key plotter of the 2001 Parliament attack, was hanged early on Saturday morning in Delhi’s Tihar jail, amid a fog of secrecy.
The covert operation to execute Jaish-e-Muhammad terrorist Guru was set in motion on February 3 after the Ministry of Home Affairs received a top secret file from President Pranab Mukherjee’s office, recommending the noose for Guru.
The JeM operative was convicted of sheltering and facilitating five terrorists for the horrific attack. Taking a leaf out of JKLF terrorist Maqbool Bhat’s execution and burial 29 years ago in the same jail, Guru was buried inside the prison complex with full religious rites. The terrorist’s family had reportedly sought permission to perform his last rites.
Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde confirmed Guru’s hanging around 10 AM. “The President rejected the mercy petition of Afzal Guru on February 3 and after that I gave my approval on February 4... He was hanged at 8 am,” Shinde said.
Guru (43), a medical college dropout and resident of Tarzoo village of Sopore town in north Kashmir, was on the death row for over 10 years after being convicted for his role in aiding and abetting the attack. Countering his family’s claims, Home Secretary R K Singh said Guru’s family in J&K had been informed through speed post of the impending execution and the delivery of the message was confirmed by State police. Two letters — one through speed post and another by courier — were sent to the IG for Guru’s family and it was hand-delivered, sources said.