Hometown: Sopore, Jammu And Kashmir
Death Cause: Capital Punishment
Age: 44 Years
Some Lesser Known Facts About Afzal Guru
- Afzal Guru, the co-conspirator of the Indian Parliament attack, was a college dropout and a surrendered militant.
- He belonged to a converted Muslim family.
- He was a devotee of the Persian Islamic poet Rumi and Muhammad Iqbal, a South Asian Muslim writer and poet.
- He was the admirer of Madhubala, one of the most successful and famous Bollywood actresses of her era.
- According to some media outlets, he worked as a commission agent for surgical equipment after returning to Jammu and Kashmir from Delhi upon completion of his Bachelor of Arts degree, and became more familiar with Delhi because of his business trips.
- Afzal married his ten years younger cousin, Tabassum.
- According to Tabassum, she didn’t confront Afzal about his involvement in the attack even after being aware of it. In an interview, while talking about suspecting Afzal’s connection to the attack, Tabassum said,
I won’t lie. I suspected, but I never checked, asked or stopped him. I agree, he was not fully innocent, but did he really deserve the death sentence? What about those who actually shot those people? They walk away free?”
- According to the sources, Afzal Guru’s son, Ghalib, would often recite poems for his father during his imprisonment.
- According to the Superintendent of Tihar Jail No. 03, Manoj Dwivedi, Afzal never read the Quran as a child, but he read it during the years of imprisonment spent inside Tihar Jail.
- The secret execution of Afzal was named “Operation Three Star.”
- In an interview, Sunil Gupta, one of the jailers in Tihar Jail, revealed that Afzal started singing a song from the film ‘Badal’ (1966) after receiving information about his execution on the same day within two hours. Afzal sang,
Apne liye jiye toh kya jiye, Tu ji ae dil Zaman eke liye (What is a point of life lived for ourselves, my heart lives for others)”
- Reportedly, in the last letter to his family, Afzal asked his family to feel proud of his demise as he believed to be fortunate enough to be chosen by God to sacrifice his soul to him. While thanking God for taking his soul and mentioning all the believers of God, Afzal wrote
[My] Respected family members and the Believers [of Allah]. May Allah’s blessings be upon you all. A hundred thousand gratitudes to Allah that He chose me for this stature. Also my greetings to all Believers [of Allah] that we all remained on the side of the truth and the right. May we all be on this path [of righteousness] and die for the truth and the right. This is my request to the members of my family that they should all respect the stature I have attained [by my execution] rather than nourishing a sense of loss and repentance on my death. May Allah be the saviour and the protector for all of you.”
- On 3 February 2013, then-President Pranab Mukherjee rejected Afzal’s mercy petition; however, Afzal’s cousin, Yaseen Ahmed, claimed that the family was unaware of the rejection of Afzal’s mercy petition.
- According to the sources, Afzal was the first prisoner to be hanged after the execution of ‘Satwant’ and ‘Kehar,’ held in 1989 in Tihar Jail, New Delhi, the murderers of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.
- Reportedly, Afzal’s family claimed the body of Afzal; however, the Central government rejected the request to avoid any kind of disturbance in the country as per the policy of keeping possession of the executed prisoner’s body in case of any kind of chances of violence in the country occurred due to the funeral of the deceased. According to the media reports, Afzal’s family wrote a letter requesting to hand over the body for performing last rites. The letter read,
We are writing to you to please permit the family members to give Afzal Guru proper dignified last rites in accordance with the religious traditions…If you could inform us when the family members can perform the ‘Namaaz-e-Janaza’, we would appreciate it.”
- According to the sources, to honour the soul of the deceased, an empty grave for Afzal Guru was dug in Srinagar’s Iddgah. The stone on the grave consisted of some engraved words which read,
The martyr of the nation, Mohammad Afzal Guru, Date of Martyrdom: 9th February 2013 Saturday, whose mortal remains are lying in the custody of the Government of India. The nation is awaiting its return.”
- Srinagar often experiences a complete shutdown and protests on the death anniversary of Afzal Guru.
- Reportedly, Afzal’s pieces of writings were published in a 94-page book titled ‘Ahle Imaan Ke Naam Shaheed Mohammad Afzal Guru Ka Aakhri Paigam,’ which consisted of the letters written by Afzal Guru during his imprisonment in the high-security jail in New Delhi, and a 240-page book titled ‘Aaina (Mirror),’ purportedly written by Afzal, and published by the Jaish-e-Mohammad group in December 2013. It was also claimed that the book ‘Aaina (Mirror)’ consisted of a letter written to Masood Azhar which read that Afzal had completed this book in 2010, but he was not able to publish it.