Afzal Guru, Jaish-e-Mohammad militant convicted in the audacious attack on Parliament in 2001, was hanged on Saturday in Delhi's Tihar Jail in an operation shrouded in secrecy, five days after his mercy plea was rejected by the President.
A resident of Sopore in north Kashmir, 43-year-old Guru, sentenced to death in 2002 by a special court and the verdict upheld by the Supreme Court in 2005, was executed at 8 am in Tihar Jail here and his body was buried in the prison premises.
Guru, a former fruit merchant, was found guilty of conspiring and sheltering the militants who attacked Parliament on December 13, 2001, in which nine persons were killed.
Fearing a backlash over the execution, an indefinite curfew was clamped in the Valley and security beefed up. Jammu and Kashmir Minister Omar Abdullah, DGP Ashok Prasad and other senior officers flew from Jammu to Srinagar early this morning to keep a close watch on the law and order situation.
On December 13, 2001, five heavily-armed gunmen stormed the Parliament complex and opened indiscriminate fire, killing five Delhi Police personnel, a woman CRPF official, two Parliament watch and ward staff and a gardener.
A journalist, who was injured, died later. All five terrorists were shot dead by security forces.
Guru was arrested within hours after the attack from a bus in the national capital.
"Afzal Guru was hanged at 8 am," Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde told reporters shortly after the execution.
Guru was taken to the gallows at around 7.30 am and appeared calm, a top Tihar Jail official said.
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. This was done through speedpost, Union Home Secretary R K Singh said.
Guru's mercy plea was rejected by President Pranab Mukherjee on February 3.
"I examined the file carefully and recommended to the President on January 21 for rejection of Afzal Guru's petition," the Home Minister said.
Shinde said Guru's case was sent to the then President by the Home Ministry in 2011. "After that there was a new President and a new Home Minister. President Mukherjee sent Guru's file to the Home Ministry.
"We sent it to the President on January 21, 2013. On February 3, the President sent Guru's file rejecting the mercy plea to the Home Ministry.
"I put my signature on February four and sent it for further execution to