Officials at Tihar Jail said that Afzal Guru, convicted for his role in the December 13, 2001 Parliament attack, was told on February 8 evening that he would be hanged the next morning under an operation code-named Operation Three Star.
The preparation to hang Guru began immediately after the home ministry cleared the file on February 4.
“When he was told about his execution, he was calm. He expressed his wish to write to his wife. The jail superintendent gave him a pen and paper,” an official said.
“He wrote the letter in Urdu, which was posted to his family in Kashmir the same day,” the official said.
When contacted, Guru’s family said they are yet to receive the letter. “We have not received his letter. Maybe we will get it later, like the one about his hanging, which we got today,” Yaseen, Guru’s cousin said.
A hangman was called and arrangements were made to hang Guru near his solitary cell in Tihar Jail number three.
“Very few officers were told about the decision. Three doctors and a maulvi, who performed his last rites, were informed secretly a night before. They were asked to come early Saturday morning,” the official said. The motive for giving a code name to this operation was to prevent word of the impending hanging from getting around.
Guru performed his morning prayers and read a few pages of the Quran. On the morning of his execution, he was calm and greeted officials, many whom he addressed by their first names. He was buried near his cell.
His family has demanded that they be allowed to conduct his last rites while officials said that the government would take a decision in this regard.