Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah says he was informed at 8 pm on Friday night that Afzal Guru would be executed this morning for his role in the attack on the Indian Parliament in 2001.
"I understand there is a certain degree of angst and there are some who would like to exploit this situation. I urge restraint," he said. "I urge the people of Jammu and Kashmir not to resort to any violent protest."
Curfew has been imposed across the Kashmir Valley as a precaution. Guru, a Kashmiri Muslim, belonged to Sopore, about 35 kms from Srinagar, which is under tight security. Some human rights activists allege that Guru was not given a fair trial, an opinion widely echoed among many in Kashmir. He was buried at Tihar Jail, where he had been in prison since 2001, and his family did not see him before he was executed - factors adding to the tension in the Valley.
The main opposition party in the state, the PDP, said it was "disappointed" with the centre's decision to hang Guru. "We had urged that political sensitivities be taken into considering while taking a decision on his clemency plea," PDP spokesman Nayeem Akhtar said. The opposition said that the chief minister cannot disassociate himself from the centre's decision because his party, the National Conference, belongs to the Prime Minister's ruling coalition at the centre.
Cable operators were asked to blackout television news channels, and internet services were suspended in some parts of the state, said reports.
Guru was executed at 8 am. In 2004, the Supreme Court convicted him of supplying arms and a place to stay to five terrorists who drove into the parliament complex in December 2001 and opened fire. 14 people were killed, including all five terrorists.
The terrorists were shot dead. Their cellphones had contact information for Guru, the police said, which arrested him the day after the terror strike.