Guru was shocked, say prison officials

Guru was shocked, say prison officials

It was after Mohammad Afzal Guru had his dinner and returned to his condemned cell at sub-jail number three in Tihar Jail, the superintendent informed him about the rejection of mercy plea and the imminent execution.

Guru’s was visibly shaken and shocked at the sudden turn of events. “He listened to the date and time of his execution in silence. All the while, he was staring at the ground,” said a source in Tihar Jail. Guru was lodged in the high-security prison ever since his arrest in the Parliament attack case.

After the superintendent of the jail left, Guru reconciled himself to the fact that his life will be cut short. He sat quietly and started praying. “He was quite calm and awake the whole night, just waiting for the morning,” said the source, adding that Guru was under watch the whole night.

While Guru kept himself busy praying, the prison authorities were awake making the necessary arrangements to execute the death sentence since most of the officials were witnessing a hanging for the first time.

The authorities brought a hangman from Uttar Pradesh on Friday. The executioner joined the officials, including Director of Prisons (Tihar), Vimla Mehra, in the preparations. “We were busy compiling and documenting things and arranging the execution room in sub-jail number three,” said a jail official.

Guru looked stressed in the morning. He was offered breakfast at around 6:30 am. But he did not touch the food and sat silently as doctors performed a medical check-up.  The superintendent of the jail, the district magistrate, the medical officer and the deputy superintendent visited Guru in his cell. The superintendent and the magistrate identified him as Afzal Guru, as named in the warrant.

“When he was being taken out of his cell, all other cells were locked up. His hands were held from behind. The stage was around three feet high and around 11 feet deep,” said the official.

Guru did not utter a word in response to questions asked by the jail officials and the magistrate. He merely nodded. “Guru looked down and kept mum,” said the officer, adding that he looked frightened. Thereafter he was led to the platform and hanged before eight officials, including the deputy-inspector general (prison).  Guru’s body was dismounted after the doctors declared him dead. The funeral was held in sub-jail number three after half an hour.

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