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India parliament attack plotter executed after president refuses to grant clemency

Afzal Guru [One India profile], a Kashmiri militant who received the death penalty for participating in the 2001 attack on India's parliament [BBC report], was executed on Saturday. Guru was hanged after India's president, Shri Pranab Mukherjee [official website], turned down his plea for clemency. Following Guru's execution, India's government imposed a curfew [Al Jazeera report] in the India-controlled section of Kashmir and deployed hundreds of police in anticipation of protests and potentially violent clashes. A group of 400 protesters gathered in the Kashmiri city of Muzzafarabad on Saturday vowing to continue Guru's mission [AFP report]. Guru's hanging was only the second execution carried out by India's government since 2004, with the other being Mohammad Ajmal Kasab, a gunman in the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks, who was executed in November [JURIST report].

The attack occurred on December 13, 2001, when five men raided the parliament building in New Delhi. Nine people died in the attacks, including eight policemen. Guru was sentenced to death on December 18, 2002, and the Supreme Court of India [official webiste] upheld the death sentence [judgment; JURIST report] in April 2005. Guru was found guilty of providing material support to the attackers [BBC report], for helping plan the attack and for being a member of the terrorist organization Jaish-e-Mohammed [NCTC backgrounder].

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