Police keep vigil outside the Tihar Jail in New Delhi yesterday.
The Tihar Jail, the largest prison in India, witnessed a hanging yesterday after 24 years when the 2001 parliament attack convict Afzal Guru was executed, an official said.
The last executions were in 1989 when Kehar Singh and Satwant Singh, assassins of then prime minister Indira Gandhi were hanged inside the jail.
Guru is the seventh man hanged inside the prison since 1981, a Tihar Jail official said. He was executed at 8am yesterday.
He was hanged in the presence of eight people in a procedure that took eight minutes.
The prison official said Guru was informed about his hanging late Friday evening after a death warrant was issued by a Delhi court.
“He was told about his hanging yesterday by the jailor,” a source said.
The source said Guru was hanged about 20m from his cell where he spent 12 years in solitary confinement.
“There were eight people, including a doctor, a magistrate and some jail officials, present when he was hanged. He was hanged for eight minutes,” the source said.
In 1982, Ranga and Billa were executed for kidnapping and murdering two minors, Geeta Chopra and her younger brother Sanjay.
Maqbool Bhat of the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front was executed in 1984 while Jugar Singh was hanged inside the jail in 1985 for the murder of Vidya Jain.
Indira Gandhi’s assassins were executed by ‘Kalu’, a resident of Meerut in Uttar Pradesh. He was paid Rs150 for carrying out the execution.
As Guru was executed, social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter saw a deluge of comments with many expressing delight while some condemning the capital punishment.
“This is a tribute to the victims of the parliament attack I am happy to hear this news. It made my day,” tweeted Anurag Gupta, a theatre artist from Delhi.
“With Guru’s hanging law has come a full circle. Justice delayed but not denied for a change,” Shaleen Khan, a Mumbai-based advertising professional, posted on Facebook.
“Glad to hear the news about Afzal Guru. Terrorists must learn a lesson from this,” Alka Singh from Lucknow posted on Facebook.
Sandhya Patil from Ahmedabad smelt a conspiracy. “Kasab hanged just before winter session...Afzal Guru hanged just before budget session! Coincidence?” she tweeted.
Activist Kiran Bedi tweeted: “Afzal Guru case needed a closure. It disturbs some and settles others! Always damned if u do, doomed if you don’t! Governance is tough!”
However, author Taslima Nasreen did not support capital punishment.
“Execution is the most easy task for the authority, let’s force them to make the society better so that no Kasab, Guru, mullah can be born again.”
Some saw the lighter side of the situation.
Ramesh Srivats from Bangalore tweeted: “Afzal Guru hanged. His career - started in parliament, ended in Tihar Jail. Familiar path.”
“With #AfzalGuru we have now killed the last person who had conspired to enter parliament to do some work,” tweeted Joy Das.