Afzal Guru, the main accused in the 2001 Parliament attack, was hanged at Delhi's Tihar jail at 8am on Saturday, six days after President Pranab Mukherjee rejected his mercy petition. The execution came three months after the execution of Ajmal Kasab, the lone surviving Pakistani terrorist accused in 26/11 terror attacks. Guru was buried in Tihar jail itself.
Hanging Afzal Guru is undoubtedly an executive decision which, despite the government’s vehement denial, is very conveniently timed. Coming as it is just a fortnight before a difficult budget session it strengthens the government’s position on the floor of the Parliament. More significantly, it lends credibility to a cornered home minister facing an Opposition boycott. And it also sounds the election bell for a ruling coalition which believes it is coming out from a neck-deep crisis and can turn things around with a voter-friendly budget.