New Delhi: Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday welcomed the hanging of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru. "Better late than never," Modi posted on Twitter after the Centre announced that Guru was hanged at Tihar Jail in Delhi on Saturday morning.
Guru, a Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorist, was convicted of conspiracy in the December 2001 attack on Parliament and was sentenced to death by the Supreme Court in 2004. After the hanging of Mumbai terror attack convict Ajmal Kasab, main opposition BJP had stepped up its demands for speedy execution of Guru.
Guru, convicted in the audacious attack on Parliament in 2001, was hanged in Tihar Jail, in an operation shrouded in secrecy. "Afzal Guru was hanged at 8 AM," Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde said shortly after the execution of the Jaish-e-Mohammad terrorist.
The mercy plea of 43-year-old Guru, who was sentenced to death in 2002 by a special court and later upheld by the Supreme Court in 2004, was rejected by President Pranab Mukherjee on February 3, 2013 and Shinde signed on his execution order a day later of February 4.
The family of Guru residing in Sopore in north Kashmir was informed about the decision of the Government that his mercy petition has been rejected. HOme Secretary RK Singh said that Guru, who has been in the death row for over 10 years, will be buried in Tihar Jail as per the jail manual.
Meanwhile, security has been tightened and curfew imposed in several areas of Kashmir Valley including Srinagar, Baramulla and Anantnag following the hanging of Parliament attacker Afzal Guru in Delhi's Tihar Jail on Saturday morning. Cable TV services have also been shut down in the Kashmir Valley.
Security has also been tightened in Delhi, Mumbai and other important cities of the country as well even as the Home Secretary said that he did not apprehend any law and order problem in either the Kashmir Valley or other parts of the country after Guru's hanging.
Jammu and Kashmir Minister Omar Abdullah, DGP Ashok Prasad and other senior officers flew from Jammu to Srinagar early on Saturday morning to keep a close watch on the law and order situation. Pro-Pakistan separatist groups have given a call for a three-day shut down in the Valley.
Guru was convicted on charges conspiracy in the December 2001 attack on Parliament and was sentenced to death by the Supreme Court in 2005. On December 13, 2001, five heavily-armed gunmen stormed the Parliament complex and opened indiscriminate fire, killing nine persons.
They included five Delhi Police personnel, a woman Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) official, two Parliament watch and ward staff and a gardener. A journalist, who was injured, died later. All five terrorists were shot dead. Guru was arrested within hours after the attack from a bus in the national capital.