Afzal Guru, who was hanged and buried in Tihar Jail on Saturday, was shaken when jail authorities informed him on Friday evening about his impending execution, top sources said.
They said Afzal appeared tense and remained silent when authorities asked him about the menu for supper and his last wish.
“Although food was served to him, Afzal did not touch anything and only had water. Later he asked for a book in the night,” a source said.
Sources said Afzal didn’t sleep on Friday night and when prison officials reached the cell around 5 am on Saturday with a doctor for a medical check up, he was murmuring some prayers, frequently touching his prayer beads.
However, the 43-year-old appeared calm and remorseless during the medical examination. According to jail officials, his blood pressure was normal. He offered ‘namaz’ and had a cup of tea in the morning.
“A demo for his hanging was held last night to check the strength of the rope in the presence of DG prison Vimla Mehra and other senior officials in jail number 3. Afzal was taken to the gallows at 7:30 am. Total seven people including a magistrate, doctor and senior prison officials were present during the execution,” the source said. Asked whether Afzal was remorseless in the last moment, Vimla Mehra said: “He was happy and healthy.”
He was buried inside the jail after a maulavi performed the funeral rites.
Family Seeks Permission to Perform Rites
Afzal Guru’s family members have written to Director General of Tihar Jail Vimla Mehra, seeking her permission to perform his funeral rites in accordance with religious tradition.
The letter, written on behalf of his wife Tabassum by his counsel N Pancholi and Nandita Haskar, claimed that the family was not informed about the execution. While making it clear that they do not wish to make it a political issue in a volatile atmosphere, the lawyers asked the officials to respect the family members’ rights.
Afzal’s family expressed the desire to perform Namaaz-e-Janazaa and sought an appropriate time from the director general of the prison.
“We are writing to you to permit the family members to give Afzal proper and dignified last rites, in accordance with their religious traditions. If you could inform us when the family members can perform the namaaz-e-janazaa, we would appreciate it,” the letter read. It also said that the family members were shocked to learn about Afzal’s hanging from television.