Afzal Guru’s mercy petition rejected, execution soon.

published on February 8, 2013
New Delhi: Afzal Guru, convicted for his role in the attack on Parliament in 2001, will be executed soon. Sources say President Pranab Mukherjee rejected Afzal Guru’s mercy petition a few days ago, clearing the way for his hanging.

A formal announcement by the government is expected soon today, sources said. The Home Ministry had recommended the death sentence for Guru last month.

Nine years ago, in 2004, Afzal Guru was given the death sentence by the Supreme Court. The sentence was scheduled to be carried out on October 20, 2006, but was stayed after his wife filed the mercy petition, which had been pending with the President’s office.

The main opposition party, the BJP, has for long questioned the delay in the execution of Guru. But activists and political groups in Kashmir have argued that it is not an open and shut case.

Afzal Guru is from Sopore in Kashmir and curfew has been imposed in all important towns of the state. Separatist groups have earlier warned against Guru’s execution. Chief Minister Omar Abdullah is in Delhi and is leaving for Srinagar immediately.

In December 2001, five heavily-armed terrorists drove into the Parliament complex and opened fire. Nine people were killed, most of them members of the security forces. All the terrorists were shot dead.

Both Houses of Parliament had just been adjourned and many MPs and ministers, including then Deputy Prime Minister LK Advani were still inside.

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