Two days after Afzal Guru was executed and buried at Tihar Jail in New Delhi on 9 February, the family received a letter on 11 February disclosing that Afzal was to be hanged for his role in the attack on the Indian parliament in December 2001.
Afzal Guru was tried by a Special Court under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA) and sentenced to death in 2002 after being convicted of conspiracy to attack the Indian Parliament in 2001. The POTA was repealed in 2004 after serious allegations that it failed to meet international basic standards for fair trial. Afzal did not receive a lawyer of his choice nor a lawyer with experience at the trial stage . The family lawyers said that the family was not informed of the execution beforehand nor given the chance to meet Guru one last time as required for in law.
The People’s Union of Civil Liberties (PUCL) and ADPAN members “…condemn[ed] the execution, reiterating its demand for the abolition of the death penalty… We give a call to the nation to break this spiral of executions”.
Afzal Guru’s execution comes three months after the execution of Ajmal Kasab on 21 November last year.
“India may witness more executions” says ADPAN, “any increase would be contrary to a trend as executions are coming down across many parts of the region and across the world”.