A fruit seller sentenced to death for taking part in a plot to attack India's parliament in 2001 has been executed after his final mercy plea was rejected by President Pranab Mukherjee.
By
AFP

Source
AFP
9 Feb 2013 - 4:15 PM  UPDATED 26 Aug 2013 - 10:48 AM

A fruit seller sentenced to death for taking part in a plot to attack India's parliament in 2001 has been executed after his final mercy plea was rejected by President Pranab Mukherjee.

Mohammed Afzal Guru was executed at Tihar jail on the outskirts of Delhi on Saturday morning.

Home Secretary RK Singh told AFP: "Yes, he has been hanged.

Guru was found guilty of conspiring with and sheltering the militants who attacked the parliament in December 2001 and of being a member of banned Islamist group Jaish-e-Mohammed.

Jaish-e-Mohammed fights against Indian rule in the divided Himalayan region of Kashmir, where a separatist conflict has cost up to 100,000 lives since the insurgency began in 1989, according to rights' groups.

Five armed rebels stormed India's parliament in New Delhi on December 13, 2001, killing eight police officers and a gardener before they were shot dead by security forces. A journalist wounded in the attack died months later.

Sources in the intelligence wing of the Indian army said they had been instructed to prepare for a possible backlash in Kashmir after Guru's execution.

"We were informed that Afzal Guru will be hanged on Saturday and therefore we must tighten security," a senior army official said.

Executions are only carried out for the "rarest of rare" cases in India and Guru's would be only the second since 2004.

The sole surviving gunman from the 2008 Mumbai attacks, Pakistani-born Mohammed Ajmal Kasab, was executed on November 21 last year.