Parliament Attack convict Afzal Guru executed

President Pranab Mukherjee rejects Afzal Guru's mercy petition. Execution carried out at 8 AM in New Delhi's Tihar Jail.

NEW DELHI, FEBRUARY 9: Mohammad Afzal Guru, a terrorist attached to the Jaish-e-Mohammad group convicted in the December 2001 attack on the Indian Parliament, was hanged secretly at New Delhi's Tihar Jail early morning on Friday, February 9. The Supreme Court of India had awarded Guru the death sentence in 2002 and the execution was to have been carried out on October 20, 2006. However, the convict had been given a stay on execution and remained on death row. He was hanged at Tihar Jail at 8 AM on February 9.

Afzal Guru hailed from Baramulla district of Jammu and Kashmir. He had studied to be a medical doctor and was reportedly preparing for the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) entrance examinations when he joined the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) and underwent training in terrorist activities.

On December 13, 2001, five militants affiliated to the Lashkar-e-Toiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad breached the security cordon around the Indian Parliament building and carried out a terrorist attack. Seven members of the security forces, including a female constable, were killed.

The death sentence awarded to Afzal Guru had been the subject of intense debate. Several prominent public persons and groups had appealed for clemency for Afzal Guru though the Bharatiya Janata Party maintained its demand for his execution. This is the second mercy petition that President Pranab Mukherjee has rejected since his election to the country's highest office. He had earlier rejected 26/11 attacker Ajmal Kasab's mercy plea. Kasab was hanged in Pune on November 21.

- Agencies

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