Afzal Guru hanged for Parliament attack, buried in Tihar Jail
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Guru's mercy plea was rejected by President Pranab Mukherjee on February 3.
"I examined the file carefully and recommended to the President on January 21 for rejection of Afzal Guru's petition," the Home Minister said.
Shinde said Guru's case was sent to the then President by the Home Ministry in 2011. "After that there was a new President and a new Home Minister. President Mukherjee sent Guru's file to the Home Ministry.
"We sent it to the President on January 21, 2013. On February 3, the President sent Guru's file rejecting the mercy plea to the Home Ministry.
"I put my signature on February four and sent it for further execution to the department. The due procedure was followed and it was then decided that the hanging will take place on February 9 (today) at 8 AM."
Reminiscent of the hanging of Mumbai attack convict Ajmal Kasab, a Pakistani national, on November 21 last year, the execution of Guru, who has been on the death roaw for over 10 years, was kept under wraps in a top secret operation.
Moderate Hurriyat Conference led by Mirwaiz Umar Farooq has declared a four-day mourning. A complete shutdown will be observed during this period, Shahidul Islam, spokesman of the amalgam, said.
Guru is the second Kashmiri militant to be hanged after JKLF leader Maqbool Bhat who was executed on February 11, 1984 for the murder of Indian diplomat Ravindra Mhatre in United Kingdom.
The attack on Parliament had brought India and Pakistan on the brink of war.
Guru was sentenced to death along with Delhi University professor S A R Gilani and Shaukat Hussain. Hussain's wife Afsan was let off.
Gilani was, however, let off by the High Court in 2003 while the sentence of Guru and Hussain was upheld.
The Supreme Court confirmed the death penalty of Guru in 2005 while in the case of Hussain, it was commuted to 10 years.