A visibly jubilant Home Minister, who managed to hang a second terrorist within a short span of three months, said Afzal Guru’s mercy petition was first recommended for rejection by the Home Ministry in 2011.
After Sushilkumar Shinde took office as Home Minister in August last year, the President’s office had referred back seven mercy petitions, including that of Afzal Guru’s for his consideration — a routine practice after a new minister takes charge.
“The President sent back all mercy petitions for reconsideration... I examined the file carefully and recommended to the President on January 21 for rejection of Afzal Guru’s petition,” Shinde said.
Sources said Jammu & Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah was kept in the loop to avoid any untoward incident in the valley following Guru’s execution. A curfew was clamped in the wee hours of Saturday.
A surrendered JKLF militant, Afzal Guru was trained in Pakistan. He was found guilty of conspiring and sheltering five JeM and LeT terrorists, who attacked Parliament on December 13, 2001. Twelve people were killed in the attack.
Guru was instrumental in hiding the terrorists at Gandhi Vihar and Indira Vihar in North Delhi. He played a crucial role in arranging the logistics, including the chemicals used for preparing the explosives. Guru had also identified the bodies of five terrorists — Mohammed, Haider, Hamza, Raja and Rana — killed during the shootout inside Parliament complex.