Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde on Saturday said the Government had recommended death sentence for Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru on Febraury 3.
Addressing media persons, the home minister said: “We recommended death sentence for Afzal Guru on Feb 3. I examined the case in detail, it took some time on Afzal Guru’s hanging.
He said that all procedures were followed in the hanging of Afzal Guru, adding the Judiciary had fixed February 8 as the date for Afzal Guru’s hanging.
He also informed that President Pranab Mukherjee has sought opinion from the home ministry.
The execution Afzal Guru took place less than a week after the President rejected his mercy plea.
Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari also addressed the media emphasising that “Congress not soft on terror”.
He said: “UPA govt has ensured social peace and communal harmony”, adding “national security decisions not influenced by political considerations.”
Afzal Guru was given the death sentence by the Supreme Court in 2004. His hanging was scheduled for October 2006, but was stayed after his wife filed a mercy petition.
Nine people were killed in the Dec 13, 2001 Parliament attack when five heavily-armed Pakistani terrorists drove into the Parliament complex and opened fire. There were about 100 MPs in the building at the time of the attack.
The terrorists were shot dead. Guru was convicted of plotting the terror attack.
The BJP, which has been repeatedly demanding the execution of Afzal Guru and questioned the delay in his hanging, welcomed the execution, but said it was a “delayed decision”.