New Delhi: Afzal Guru, the main accused in the December 13, 2001 terror strike on the Indian Parliament, was hanged on Saturday morning in Delhi's Tihar Jail.
Television and other media reports quoted the Union Home Ministry as confirming the hanging of Guru this morning. Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde was quoted by a news agency as saying that Afzal Guru was hanged inside the Tihar Jail between 7.30 a.m. and 8 a.m. this morning.
Earlier reports said his mercy plea had been rejected by President Pranab Mukherjee.
In the wake of his hanging, curfew has been imposed in several areas of Jammu and Kashmir in anticipation of protests. The army is on high-alert in the state.
Guru was given the death sentence by the Supreme Court in 2004. His hanging was earlier scheduled for October 2006, but was suspended or stayed after his wife had filed a mercy petition on his behalf.
Sources were quoted, as saying that President Mukherjee had informed the Union Home Ministry that he had rejected the mercy petition on January 23.
In December 2001, five heavily-armed terrorists drove into the Parliament complex and opened fire. Nine people were killed, most of them security personnel. All five terrorists were killed.
At that time, proceedings in Parliament was adjourned even as several lawmakers were inside.
A few days later, Guru was arrested on the charge that he had masterminded the terror strike.
The main opposition BJP has repeatedly questioned the delay in Guru's execution, and its leaders last questioned the government in Parliament on the 11th anniversary of the attack (December 13, 2012).
Guru's execution comes almost three months after Pakistani terrorist Ajmal Kasab was hanged in Pune's Yeravada Jail for his role in the terror strikes in Mumbai between November 26 and 29, 2008.
Guru hailed from Sopore in Kashmir.
Separatist groups in Kashmir had earlier warned of retaliation if Guru was executed. Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah had repeatedly stressed that it could have serious repercussions on his state.
Abdullah, who is in Delhi, is leaving for Srinagar immediately, media reports said. (ANI)