Afzal Guru hanged; Kashmir locked down under curfew

Afzal GuruThe entire Kashmir valley has been placed under strict curfew as Afzal Guru, convicted for the attack on Parliament in 2001, was hanged in Delhi this morning.

Jammu & Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah, in a statement in Srinagar after the event, asked the people of the state to remain calm and avoid protests. He said some security measures had been taken in parts of the state, but policemen had been asked to show restraint and the Army had not been deployed.

It is reported that Abdullah was in New Delhi on Friday and he was himself caught unawares about the rejection of the mercy plea of Afzal Guru by President Pranab Mukherjee on Saturday. He had unsuccessfully sought a delay in the hanging.

The Supreme Court had sentenced Guru to death in 2004, but his wife appealed to the President for mercy after his execution was scheduled in 2006.

President Mukherjee rejected the mercy plea on 23 January and the hanging took place at 8 am today inside Tihar jail where the convict was lodged. He has been buried inside the jail premises, according to latest report.

Nine people, including security personnel and officials of Parliament, were killed when Jaish-e-Mohammad terrorists attacked it in 2001. Afzal Guru was charged with conspiracy and helping the perpetrators.