New Delhi, Feb 9: Jaish-e-Mohammad terrorist Mohammad Afzal Guru has been reportedly hanged in the Tihar Jail at 8 am on Saturday after his mercy petition was rejected by the President of India, Pranab Mukherjee. The news of the execution was confirmed by Home Secretary R K Singh around 9 am. Guru's body was buried in the jail premises, sources confirmed.
When asked whether the execution was carried out in secrecy, Singh said the government did not believe in revealing things beforehand and the execution was the consequence of a normal legal course.
Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah was kept in the loop about Guru's execution, sources said.
Guru was convicted in the Parliament attack case in December 2001. Sources said Section 144 had been imposed in many parts of Jammu and Kashmir. TV channels were stopped from being broadcast in various parts of the state. Internet link was also likely to be jammed.
Tight security arrangements were put in place in Tihar Jail, where Guru had been kept.
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Guru was awarded death sentence by the Supreme Court in 2004.
Guru's hanging was scheduled for October 2006 but was stayed after his wife filed a mercy petition. According to sources, the President informed the home ministry that he had rejected the mercy petition on January 23.
On December 13, 2001, five heavily-armed terrorist entered the Parliament premises and opened fire, resulting in the death of nine people, most of whom were security personnel. The terrorists were shot dead in retaliation.
Several MPs were still inside the Parliament when the incident took place.
Guru was arrested a few days later.
In June 2010, the Home Ministry recommended the President's office to reject the mercy petition. In January next year, a whistleblowing site claimed that the mercy petition file was not with the President of India. It was rubbished by the government. In August 2011, the home ministry rejected the mercy petition and advised the President to award death penalty.
In September 2011, a high-intensity bomb explosion rocked Delhi and a fundamentalist organisation claimed that the blast was carried out in retaliation to Guru's death sentence.
In November last year, the President sent back seven cases to the home ministry, including that of Guru. The President wanted Union home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde to take a relook at the opinion given during the tenure of his predecessor, P Chidambaram.
Guru's wife, Afsan Guru, found guilty of not disclosing information to police, was also given five-years term but later had her conviction overturned on appeal.
The principal opposition party, the BJP, has been targetting the government over the delay in Guru's execution and its leaders also raised the issue in the Parliament on the 11th anniversary of the attack. The demand gained voice after Ajmal Kasab, the Pakistan-backed terrorist who was caught during the 26/11 terror attacks in Mumbai, was hanged in Pune's Yerwada Jail in a secret operation in November.
The Union Home Minister later confirmed the execution of Guru. he said the matter had already been taken up before he became the minister. He said the President had sent back the files on February 3 and he signed the files the next day. he said the decision to hang Guru was taken on February 8.