India: parliament attack plotter executed

Afzal Guru, a Kashmiri militant who received the death penalty for participating in the 2001 attack on India's parliament, was executed on Feb. 9. Guru was hanged after India's president, Shri Pranab Mukherjee, turned down his plea for clemency. Following Guru's execution, India's government imposed a curfew in the India-controlled section of Kashmir and deployed hundreds of police in anticipation of protests and potentially violent clashes. A group of 400 protesters gathered in the Kashmiri city of Muzzafarabad vowing to continue Guru's mission. Guru's hanging was only the second execution carried out by India's government since 2004, with the other being Mohammad Ajmal Kasab, a gunman in the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks, who was executed in November.

The attack occurred on Dec. 13, 2001, when five men raided the parliament building in New Delhi. Nine people died in the attacks, including eight policemen. Guru was sentenced to death on Dec. 18, 2002, and the Supreme Court of India upheld the death sentence in April 2005. Guru was found guilty of providing material support to the attackers, for helping plan the attack and for being a member of the organization Jaish-e-Mohammed (NCTC backgrounder).

From Jurist, Feb. 9. Used with permission.

  1. Hyderabad terror revenge for execution?

    At least 14 people are dead and 119 injured in twin bomb blasts at Hyderabad's busy Dilsukhnagar area Feb. 21. Unnamed intelligence sources were quoted in India's media saying the attacks were carried out to avenge the execution of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru. The plan to launch terror strikes in India was reportedly hatched at a meeting of the United Jihad Council in Pakistan that was held days after Afzal was hanged. The meeting was attended by the top leaders of various militant groups including Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Mohammad, HuJI and Hizbul Mujahideen. (Zee News, AFP, Feb. 22)

    Hyderabad was the scene of a wave of terror attacks in 2007.

  2. India upholds death sentence for 1993 Mumbai bombings

    The Indian Supreme Court on March 21 upheld the death sentence for one of the plotters of the 1993 Mumbai serial bombings that killed 257 people. Yakub Abdul Razak Memon, brother of mastermind "Tiger" Memon, was convicted in 2006 for his role in orchestrating the attacks that spread havoc throughout the city and included a horrific attack on the Bombay Stock Exchange. The court, in upholding the sentence, found that his actions were "carried out with utter disregard to human life and dignity" which justifies the rare imposition of the death penalty.

    The court also announced its decision in a related case deciding that popular Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt must return to prison to serve a five-year sentence for having purchased weapons from some of those who carried out the Mumbai blasts. Dutt had purchased weapons for himself from friends who were part of the terrorist group responsible for the attacks. Dutt had been sentenced initially to a six-year team which was lowered to five years by the court.

    From Jurist, March 21. Used with permission.