Afzal Guru Wiki, Age, Death, Wife, Children, Family, Biography & More


Afzal Guru

Mohammad Afzal Guru, a medical college dropout [1] from Kashmir and surrendered militant, [2]Outlook was convicted for the Indian Parliament attack that took place in 2001 in New Delhi, India. Reportedly, Afzal was the co-operator of the masterminds behind the attack. The Supreme Court of India awarded him three life sentences and a double death sentence for his involvement in the attack. [3]Newslaundry


Afzal Guru was born on Monday, 30 June 1969 [4] (age 44 years; at the time of death) in Doabgah village located on the outskirts of Sopore town in the Baramulla district of Jammu and Kashmir. [5]The Free Press Journal He did his schooling at a government school in Sopore, Jammu and Kashmir. [6]The Times of India In 1988, Afzal enrolled himself in the MBBS course at the Jhelum Valley Medical College, Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir. [7] Afzal completed only his first year of MBBS. [8] According to the media, he also prepared for the Indian Administrative Service (IAS). [9]DNA India In 1990, after realising the unpleasant situation in the valley, he decided to become a member of the Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF). [10]The Times of India Some sources claim that at a point in time, Afzal started living in Delhi with his cousin Shaukat Hussain Guru in Mukharjee Nagar. [11]The Times of India According to the media, in 1993, he completed a Bachelor of Arts degree (correspondence course) in Delhi. [12]The Times of India Later, he returned to Srinagar and joined as a commission agent for surgical equipment; he became familiar with Delhi as he used to travel there frequently for business deals. [13]The Times of India

Afzal in his youth

Afzal in his youth

Physical Appearance

Height (approx.):Β 5′ 6″

Hair Colour:Β Salt and Pepper

Eye Colour:Β Dark Brown

Afzal Guru


Afzal Guru belonged to a Muslim (converted) family in Srinagar. [14]The Indian Express

Parents & Siblings

His father’s name is Habibullah Guru (deceased), and his mother’s name is Ayesha Begum. Afzal’s father had a transport and timber business. [15]The Indian Express Afzal had two brothers named Aijaz Guru (elder) [16]The Tribune and Hilal Ahmad.

Ayesha Begum - Afzal Guru's mother

Ayesha Begum – Afzal Guru’s mother

Wife & Children

In 1998, [17]The Times of India Afzal got married to his cousin, [18]Newslaundry ten years younger than him, [19]Newslaundry Tabassum. [20]The Times of India

A picture of Afzal Guru and Tabassum Guru from the occasion of marriage

A picture of Afzal Guru and Tabassum Guru from the occasion of marriage

Tabassum Guru and Afzal Guru

Tabassum Guru and Afzal Guru

Afzal and Tabassum were blessed with a son, Ghalib Guru. [21]NDTV

Ghalib Guru with his mother, Tabassum Guru

Ghalib Guru with his mother, Tabassum Guru

According to the media, during his visits to Afzal in the Tihar jail, Ghalib Guru used to recite poems for Afzal. In an interview, Ghalib shared how his father used to tell him to become a scholar and Ghalib would share his interest in studying Sciences. [22]Young India Foundation He said,

My father used to tell me to become a scholar but I would tell him that I want to study Science.” [23]Young India Foundation

In an interview, Tabassum revealed that she was aware of Afzal’s involvement in the attack, but she could not gather the guts to confront or ask him about it. Tabassum said,

I won’t lie. I suspected, but I never checked, asked or stopped him.” [24]Newslaundry

Tabassum also added,

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?” [25]Newslaundry

Religion/Religious Views

Afzal Guru followed Islam after his family converted from Hinduism. [26]The Indian Express According to the Superintendent of Tihar Jail No. 03 in charge during the imprisonment of Afzal, Manoj Dwivedi, Afzal disclosed the reason behind using ‘Guru’ as his surname. In an interview, Dwivedi shared that Afzal told him in a conversation that his family, initially, belonged to the Brahmin caste of Hinduism, and they later converted to Islam, but they continued using ‘Guru’ as their surname. [27]The Indian Express Manoj Dwivedi said,

I asked him why he used Guru as surname, and he explained that his family had converted to Islam but retained their Brahmin surname. That must have been a few generations before him.” [28]The Indian Express

Reportedly, Afzal had Sufi thinking, and he believed in the existence of Jannat (heaven).

Training Across the Border

According to the media, Afzal crossed the border to Pakistan and went through training at a training camp in Muzzafarabad in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) for two and a half months; the training was run by Pakistan’s ISI. [29]The Times of India Reportedly, Afzal ushered a group of around 300 militants after returning to Sopore in Jammu and Kashmir from the said training, which involved the skills of handling arms and ammunition. [30]The Times of India In an interview, Afzal revealed that although he went for training in Pakistan, where he stayed for three months and took training for around fifteen days from a retired Pakistani army officer, he didn’t train any group of militants in Sopore as after his return from Pakistan, he stayed in Kashmir for only twenty-five days. [31]Aaj Tak In an interview, Tabassum shared that Afzal was attracted to the movement led by the JKLF in 1990 for which he decided to go to Pakistan for training, but he never supported groups who had immense love for Pakistani culture, history, cuisine, tradition, and its people. Tabassum said,

In 1990 Afzal was attracted to the movement led by the JKLF, like thousands of other youth. He went to Pakistan for training and stayed there for a little while. However, he was disillusioned by the differences between different groups and he did not support pro-Pakistani groups.” [32]Outlook

The Connection with ‘Jaish-e-Mohammad’

Reportedly, in February 2001, Afzal Guru was contacted by Tariq Ahmed Dar who was a close associate of ‘Jaish-e-Mohammad’ Commander; Jaish-e-Mohammad, extensively considered a terrorist group founded by Maulana Masood Azhar, is a Pakistan-based armed group with the primary aim of separating Indian control from Indian-administered Kashmir through attacks and other acts of violence. Reportedly, Afzal was influenced by Tariq to join the group (Jaish-e-Mohammad), and then, he was introduced to Ghazi Baba at his base in Abu Hills, Pahalgam, situated in the heart of Kashmir. [33]The Times of India

The Plan of Attack

Rana Tahir Nadeem aka Ghazi Baba was a high-level commander and deputy commander of Jaish-e-Mohammad and Harkat-ul-Ansar groups respectively. As per many reports, Ghazi Baba informed Afzal of the plan of executing a “fidayeen” attack in Delhi planned by Ghazi Baba, Maulana Masood Azhar, and Lashkar-e-Taiba chief Zaki-ur-Rahman Lakhvi under the pressure from ISI. Β According to the reports, the group was being pressurised by the ISI to execute the attack. As per the secret reports, Afzal set up a base in Delhi by convincing his cousin Shaukat Hussain Guru and the former Delhi University Professor SAR Geelani to collaborate on the plan. The media claimed that Afzal was introduced to one of the Jaish-e-Mohammad militants named Mohammad, who was supposed to lead the mission of attack in Delhi by Ghazi Baba. It was believed that Afzal, carrying around Rs. 30,000 and a laptop, brought Mohammad to a bolt-hole arranged by Shaukat Hussain Guru in Christian Colony, Mukharjee Nagar, DelhiΒ and later left for Kashmir. [34]The Times of India In an interview, Afzal Guru revealed that Mohammad gave him twenty-five thousand rupees (for himself), ten lakh rupees, and a diary which he was supposed to hand over to Tariq so that he could give it to Ghazi Baba. [35]Aaj Tak The media also claimed that Shaukat Hussain arranged another bolt-hole in Gandhi Vihar in Mukharjee Nagar, Delhi. According to the reports, Afzal met two Pakistani terrorists named Raja and Haider in Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir. He was later introduced to two more of them, namely, Rana and Hamza by Tariq. [36]The Times of India Reportedly, all of these terrorists were brought to Delhi in the first week of December 2001 along with large backpacks consisting of fifteen grenades, one grenade launcher, fifteen shells, four AK rifles, three pistols, twelve magazines, radioactive magazines, two packets of detonators, and two wireless sets. [37]The Times of India According to the reports, they also brought an Ambassador car, a bike, ammonium nitrate, sulphur, and police uniforms from Chandni Chowk, Kingsway Camp, Khari Baoli, and Karol Bagh – the markets in Delhi. [38]The Times of India Reportedly, the date of the attack was decided to be 13 December 2001, and the terrorists met at the bolt-hole in Gandhi Vihar, Delhi before the attack.

13 December 2001: The Indian Parliament Attack

The five terrorists from the Jaish-e-Mohammad and Lashkar-e-Taiba groups executed the attack on Parliament on 13 December 2001. Reportedly, they were allowed to enter the Indian Parliament Complex in New Delhi as they were wearing uniforms of the Delhi police and had the home ministry and the special Parliament labels on their rented ambassador car. [39]Rediff According to the reports, the firing took place after the forty minutes of adjourning of Parliament. [40]Rediff Reportedly, after discovering the weapons with the militants, the security immediately started firing and successfully gunned them down. [41]Rediff According to the media, the firing between the two groups continued for about thirty minutes [42]Rediff in which all five of the terrorists were gunned down and nine people were killed including six Delhi police personnel, two Parliament security personnel, and a gardener. [43]WION According to the media, both Shaukat Hussain and Afzal fled to Srinagar in a truck after five of the terrorists were gunned down, and nine people were killed in the attack. [44]The Times of India

The Arrest, Charges and Confession

Reportedly, after two days of the Parliament attack, i.e., on 15 December 2001, the special cell of the Delhi police arrested Afzal from the bus stop in Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir. [45]Hindustan Times Shaukat Hussain Guru and his wife, Afsan Guru (found guilty of concealing the information of the attack ), were arrested later by the Delhi police. [46]DNA On 29 December 2001, Afzal was sent for police remand for 10 days. [47]DNA According to the media, on 4 June 2002, the charges were filed against four people – SAR Geelani, Shaukat Hussain Guru, Afzal Guru, and Afsan Guru. [48]DNA Afsan Guru was released by the officials. [49]DNA Reportedly, Afzal Guru and others were charged with various acts such as section 102-B of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), section 3(2) of the Prevention of Terrorist Act (POTA), and section 302 (Murder) of the Explosive Substance Act. Reportedly, the DCP of the special cell, in absence of policemen, recorded the confessional statement made by Afzal, which was affirmed by his signature; however, the lawyer of Afzal Guru, Sushil Kumar, claimed that Afzal wrote a letter to him in which he revealed that his family was being threatened and was tortured and constrained by the officials to give such statement. In an interview, Afzal shared his side of the story and mentioned poor economic conditions and worst past experiences with the officials in Srinagar as the main reasons to take the decision of being a conspirator. [50]Aaj Tak

From left - Shaukat Guru, S.A.R. Geelani, and Mohammad Afzal guru

From left – Shaukat Guru, S.A.R. Geelani, and Mohammad Afzal guru

Afzal Guru and DSP Davinder Singh

In a letter written in 2004 to his lawyer Sushil Kumar, Afzal Guru, who was lodged in Tihar Jail for his involvement in the Parliament attack at that time, had said that DSP Davinder Singh, then posted with Jammu and Kashmir Police’s Special Operations Group at Humhama, had tortured him and asked him to take Mohammad, a Pakistani national who was later identified as one of those who had carried out the Parliament attack, to Delhi, rent a flat for his stay, and purchase a car for him.

DSP Davinder Singh

DSP Davinder Singh

While mentioning his torture in the letter, Afzal Guru wrote,

Then they took me to Humhama STF camp where DSP Davinder Singh also tortured me. One of his torture inspectors as they called him Shanty Singh electrified me naked for 3 hours and made me drink water while giving electric shocks through telephone instruments. Ultimately I accepted to pay them Rs. 1000000 for which my family sold the gold of my wife. Even after this, they could manage only Rs. 80000. Then, they took the scooter too which was just 2-3 months old which I bought for Rs. 24000.”

Afzal Guru had taught the children of one Altaf Hussain, the brother-in-law of a senior police officer, who then took him back to Davinder Singh. Guru wrote further in his letter,

One day Altaf took me to Davinder Singh (DSP). DS told me that I had to do a small job for him that has to took one man to Delhi as I was well aware about Delhi and has to manage a rented house for him. Since I was not knowing the man but I suspected that this man is not Kashmiri as he did not speak in Kashmiri but I was helpless to do what Dravinder told me. I took him to Delhi.”

Although several political parties had demanded a probe into the matter, after Afzal Guru was hanged in 2013, no action has been taken against Singh so far. In a press conference in January 2020, when Inspector General Vijay Kumar was asked about Davinder Singh’s alleged involvement in the Parliament attacks, he said,

There is nothing as such in our records nor do I know anything about it… We will question him on this.”

The Decision of Capital Punishment

Reportedly, on 18 December 2002, the trial court gave the death sentence to SAR Geelani, Shaukat Hussain, and Afzal Guru, whereas Afsan Guru was provided with 5 years of imprisonment. [51]The Hindu Later, on 29 October 2003, the Delhi High Court endorsed the death sentence for Afzal and absolved SAR Geelani and Afzan. [52]The Hindu Reportedly, on 4 August 2005, the Supreme Court confirmed the death sentence of Afzal Guru and commuted the death sentence of Shaukat Hussain to imprisonment of ten years. [53]The Hindu The Supreme Court stated,

The appellant who is a surrendered militant and who was bent upon repeating the acts of treason against the nation, is a menace to the society and his life should become extinct.” [54]The Hindu

On 26 September 2006, the Delhi court ordered Afzal Guru to be hanged and gave “20 October 2006” as the date for hanging following which, on 3 October 2006, Tabassum Guru (Afzal’s wife) filed a mercy petition with former President Dr APJ Abdul Kalam. [55]The Hindu

A picture of Tabassum Guru (centre), along with Ghalib Guru (left) and Ayesha Begum (right) - captured while they were coming out of Rashtrapati Bhavan after meeting President Dr APJ Abdul Kalam in October 2006

A picture of Tabassum Guru (centre), along with Ghalib Guru (left) and Ayesha Begum (right) – was captured while they were coming out of Rashtrapati Bhavan after meeting President Dr APJ Abdul Kalam in October 2006

From left - Tabassum Guru, Ghalib Guru, Ayesha Begum, and lawyer Nandita Haksar outside Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi in 2006

From left – Tabassum Guru, Ghalib Guru, Ayesha Begum, and lawyer Nandita Haksar (quitted as the family lawyer of Afzal Guru) outside Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi in 2006

Reportedly, on 12 January 2007,Β  the Supreme Court dismissed the plea for seeking a review of Afzal’s death sentence as they believed that there was no worth supporting it. [56]The Hindu On 19 May 2010, the Delhi government rejected Afzal’s mercy petition and supported the death sentence given to him by the Supreme Court. [57]The Hindu According to the reports, Shaukat Hussain was released on 30 December 2010. [58]The Hindu Reportedly, on 10 December 2012, Union Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde took cognizance of Afzal’s case and said that he would look into the case after the conclusion of Parliament’s winter session. [59]The Hindu On 3 February 2013, President Pranab Mukherjee rejected Afzal’s mercy petition. [60]The Hindu In an interview, former President Pranab Mukherjee explained the reason behind rejecting the mercy petition. He shared that his decision was based on the government’s advice. [61] In an interview, Yaseen Ahmed, Afzal’s cousin, revealed that the family didn’t know that the mercy petition was rejected. [62]NDTV

The letter from the Central jail informing the rejection of the mercy petition and confirming the date of hanging of Afzal Guru

The letter from the Central jail informing the rejection of the mercy petition and confirming the date of the hanging of Afzal Guru

Last Words

Some media claimed that before one hour of hanging, Afzal Guru wrote a letter to his family and mentioned the believers of Allah (God) in the letter. Reportedly, the Superintendent of Central Jail also wrote to inform her (Tabassum) that it was Afzal’s original letter. The Superintendent of Central Jail wrote,

This is in continuation of our letter of 6-2-XIII. I am enclosing herewith the original letter written by late Sh Afzal Guru to you. Kindly acknowledge receipt.” [63]The Hindu

Media also claimed that, according to Afzal’s family, the letter was despatched on 11 February 2013 through speed post in New Delhi and was delivered at Jageer village in Sopore at 11 AM on 12 February 2013. [64]The Hindu

Afzal Guru wrote a letter to his family in Urdu in which he thanked God for choosing him to sacrifice his soul and asked his family to feel proud of him for the same. He also mentioned all the believers of God (none by name) and left a message to be right and always be truthful. The letter read,

[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.” [65]The Hindu

Controversy Over Afzal’s Hanging

Reportedly, on 29 September 2006, a controversy started when it was disclosed that the hanging date of Afzal was requested to be postponed by the former Chief Minister of Jammu & Kashmir, Ghulam Nabi Azad. [66]Outlook According to the reports, Ghulam Nabi Azad asked former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to get Presidential clemency for Guru and the hanging, which was supposed to be held on 20 October 2006, should be postponed as it would be the day of Jumat-ul-Vida (the last Friday of Ramzan). [67]Outlook Reportedly, slogans such as “Desh Abhi Sharminda Hai, Afzal Abhi bhi Zinda Hai” and many more were being called out loud in one of the elections of BJP demanding immediate execution of Afzal Guru. [68]The Guardian

Operation Three Star

Reportedly, “Operation Three Star” was the code given to the secret operation of Afzal’s execution. [69]India Today According to the reports, the operation started on 4 February 2013, i.e., the next day after the rejection of the mercy petition. [70]India Today According to Left activist Kobad Ghandy, who was one of the inmates of Afzal, every ward was locked up for 24 hours before the hanging of Afzal Guru. [71]The Quint In an interview, Ghandy revealed that the ward in which others including him were kept was asked to vacate as it was supposed to be whitewashed; the reason given was the visit of an international team in the ward but everyone in the jail was suspicious that someone might be going to be hanged. [72]The Quint In the interview, Ghandy said the prisoners found that the block-B faced the garden of ‘Faasi Kothi,’ where the prisoners with death sentence were hanged and that was the time Ghandy and others in the prison knew that there was going to be hanging for sure. According to him, Afzal Guru also doubted it and was sure that if there was going to be a hanging, it would be him. [73]The Quint In the interview, Ghandy revealed that when the search team came to Afzal’s cell, he asked the team to wait until he completes his namaz. [74]The Quint While explaining Afzal’s last moments in a book titled ‘Black Warrant: Confessions of a Tihar Jailer,’ the long-time jailer of Tihar jail who guided several hangings including Guru’s, Sunil Gupta, shared details about Guru’s moments in jail an hour or two before hanging. In the book, he revealed that Guru was sleeping around 2 AM on the day of his hanging and had no clue about it. He also mentioned in the book that while he was asleep, Sunil’s team was preparing for Afzal’s hanging with sandbags, which weighed the same as the convict’s weight. [75]Mumbai Mirror Sunil Gupta revealed that Afzal was informed about his hanging at 6 AM on 9 February 2013 by the Tihar superintendent to which Afzal calmly responded that he already knew that. Sunil Gupta said that he heard Afzal replying,

I know. I figured.” [76]Mumbai Mirror

Sunil Gupta revealed that before the hanging, Afzal Guru shared his feelings and told Sunil and others that he wasn’t a part of the terrorist groups, and he was not β€˜anti-national.’ Sunil Gupta said,

He told us he was not a terrorist, and that he was not even a wanted person. All he wanted, he said, was to fight corruption but ‘who listens in India? This was never my fight” [77]Mumbai Mirror

On 9 February 2013, at 8 AM sharp, Afzal Guru was hanged to death in Tihar jail, Delhi, India. [78]The Hindu

The BurialΒ 

Reportedly, he was buried near the grave of Maqbool Bhat in Tihar jail, India; however, the family claimed custody of Afzal’s body, but the Central government rejected the request. As per the central jail manuals, if there are any chances of disturbance or violence in the country caused by the funeral of the executed prisoner, the body of the deceased could not be handed over to his family. Reportedly, Afzal’s family also wrote a letter to claim the body. [79]NDTV 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.” [80]NDTV



In an interview, Tabassum revealed that she switched off her mobile for a moment after hearing the news of Afzal’s death from SAR Geelani. [81]Newslaundry She also shared her anger against the media for whatever they represented about Afzal to the public. [82]Newslaundry Tabassum said,

WhenΒ Aaj Tak reporters came home to me with their cameras and questions, instead of them asking me, I had questions for them. Why didn’t Shams Tahir come to interview me? Why did they do that interview with Afzal? I asked every media house who came, why they did what they did at all?” [83]Newslaundry

According to her, the media misrepresented her interview due to which her relatives did not talk to her for almost eight years until Afzal’s execution. [84]Newslaundry In the interview, she revealed that almost every week her house was searched and checked by security forces. She also mentioned the security forces entering the house with their dirty shoes on, and she would often laugh at this. She said,

They walk around with their dirty boots all over my carpet. Nowadays, I laugh and tell them β€˜Please come in, this is your own house.” [85]Newslaundry

In the interview, Tabassum didn’t disprove the fact of Afzal’s involvement in the attack, which she suspected but didn’t try to confront and stop him. Tabassum said,

I won’t lie. I suspected, but I never checked, asked or stopped him.” [86]Newslaundry

She also shared that she would often re-read the letters (written by Afzal during his imprisonment for her) to refresh the moments spent with Afzal. [87]Newslaundry

Tabassum showing all the letters written to her by Afzal

Tabassum showing all the letters written to her by Afzal

Political Outrage

India witnessed numerous protests against Afzal’s hanging. Reportedly, activists or leftists from political groups at different learning institutions in India including Jawaharlal Nehru University shouted ‘anti-national’ slogans against the execution of Afzal Guru. [88]India Today The slogans included ‘Pakistan zindabad,’ ‘Go India go back,’ ‘Bharat Ki Barbaadi Tak Jung Rahegi, Jung Rahegi,’ ‘Afzal Hum Sharminda Hain, Tere Qatil Zinda Hai,’ ‘Tum Kitney Afzal Maroge, Har Ghar Mein Afzal Niklega,’ and many more, [89]India Today whereas there were many other political parties which were in favour of the decision of the Government of India. Reportedly, then Chief Minister of Gujarat Narendra Modi also supported the execution of Afzal Guru. [90]Los Angeles Times He tweeted,

Better late than never.” [91]Los Angeles Times

According to the media, the politicians from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had put questions about the delay in Afzal’s hanging as they believed that this could be done much earlier by the Supreme Court of India in 2005. [92]The Hindu In an interview, then BJP Chief Spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad shared his views on the execution of Afzal Guru and said,

Why this sort of delay inspite of overpowering desire of the people of the country that those who are accused of such a heinous offence ought to be given the capital punishment as affirmed by the highest court of the land. This question would remain important and an answer would have to be found out.” [93]The Hindu

Reportedly, then Union Minister Farookh Abdullah expressed his opinions to the media by calling the execution of Afzal ‘unjustified.’ He said,

They never asked us, they did not tell us, they just hanged him…It was absolutely unjustified.” [94]The Economic Times

On 9 February 2016, at 5 pm, at Sabarmati Dhaba, New Delhi, Kanhaiya Kumar, an Indian politician and the former President of the Jawaharlal Nehru University Student Union (JNUSU), organised an event against the execution of Afzal Guru. The permission for the event was withdrawn by the former JNU Registrar Bhupinder Zutshi; however, Kanhaiya opposed the cancellation of the event. [95]The Economic Times


Reportedly, in April 2013, then Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari showed his disappointment over the execution of Afzal Guru in the joint session of the legislature of Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir. [96]NDTV He said,

The hanging of Afzal Guru through the abuse of judicial process has further aggravated and angered the people of Kashmir.” [97]NDTV


Reportedly, on the day of Afzal’s hanging, Srinagar faced a communication breakdown for security reasons. [98]The Tribune The Jammu and Kashmir Police directed the private operators to block many national and international news channels to prevent the state of violence and any other kind of instability. [99]The Tribune According to the reports, the state government ordered to keep private telecom operators including Aircel, Idea, Airtel, and Vodafone suspended throughout the day. [100]The Tribune On this decision of the state government, the people in the valley (Kashmir) were questioning the government for abolishing their right to information. [101]The Tribune Reportedly, many news channels were ordered to stop broadcasting news related to the execution. [102]The Tribune One of the senior journalists called it a restraint on the right of expression. The journalist said,

Even the acess to news channels has been taken away. What kind of democracy is this?” [103]The Tribune

Amnesty International

Reportedly, Amnesty International censured the execution of Afzal Guru and referred to the execution as disturbing and regressive. The human rights organisation released a statement that read,

disturbing and regressive trend towards executions shrouded in secrecy and the resumption of death penalty use in India.” [104]The Hindu

The former programme director of Amnesty International Shashikumar Velath also expressed his disappointment with the decision in Afzal’s case. He said that no legal assistance to Afzal raised a serious question on the functioning of India’s system of law. Mr Velath stated,

We condemn the execution in the strongest possible terms. This, very regrettably, puts India in opposition to the global trends of moving away from the death penalty. Serious questions have been raised about the fairness of [Afzal] Guru’s trial. He did not receive legal representation of his choice or a lawyer with adequate experience at the trial stage. These concerns were not addressed.” [105]The Hindu

Pieces of Writing

Ahle Imaan Ke Naam Shaheed Mohammad Afzal Guru Ka Aakhri Paigam (2013)

‘Ahle Imaan Ke Naam Shaheed Mohammad Afzal Guru Ka Aakhri Paigam’ is a book with 94 pages, which, reportedly, is composed of the letters written by Afzal Guru during his days in the high-security jail in New Delhi. [106]NDTV Some media claimed that it was published in Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir by one of the separatist groups. [107]NDTV According to some media outlets, the book, written in Urdu, was edited by one of the separatist leaders named Shafi Ahmad Khan Shairiati who also claimed that Afzal sent him letters from Tihar jail, which indicated some kind of messages for the Kashmiri people. [108]NDTV

Aaina (Mirror)Β 

Reportedly, a 240-page book titled ‘Aaina (Mirror)’ was published by the Jaish-e-Mohammad group in December 2013, purportedly written by Afzal Guru. [109]The Indian Express A media outlet claimed that a letter to Masood Azhar was mentioned in a book which read that Afzal had finished his book in 2010, but he couldn’t find a way to get it published. [110]The Indian Express According to the media, Afzal also mentioned Afaq, 17, Jaish’s first suicide bomber from Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir. [111]The Indian Express

Cover page (left) of the book 'Aaina' and a page (right) containing Afzal's writings

Cover page (left) of the book ‘Aaina’ and a page (right) ostensibly containing Afzal’s writings


  • Although Afzal religiously followed Islam, he never read the Quran; however, he read it during his imprisonment in the Tihar Jail. [112]The Indian Express
  • Afzal Guru was a follower of poet Muhammad Iqbal (who wrote ‘Saare Jaha Se Accha’) and Rumi, a Persian poet. [113]The Quint
  • According to Tabassum Guru, Afzal was an admirer of Madhubala, one of the most famous Indian actresses. [114]Newslaundry

    A poster of actress Madhubala on the wall in the background of Afzal Guru

    A poster of actress Madhubala on the wall in the background of Afzal Guru

  • In an interview, Tabassum Guru revealed that Afzal was a surrendered militant. According to her, Afzal wanted to live a normal life for which he decided to surrender to the Border Security Force (BSF); however, the BSF Commander did not agree to give him the certificate for the same till he motivated two other militants to surrender themselves to the BSF Commander. [115]Outlook
  • According to Sunil Gupta, one of the jailers in Tihar jail, Afzal Guru started singing a song from the film ‘Badal’ (1966) after he heard about his execution on the same day within two hours. [116]Mumbai Mirror

    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)” [117]Mumbai Mirror

  • Reportedly, an empty grave for Afzal Guru was drugged in Srinagar’s Iddgah as his body was not returned to his family. [118]The Hindu The engraving on the stone in Urdu 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.” [119]The Hindu

    The tombstone of Afzal Guru placed adjacent to Maqbool Bhat's (the founder of JKLF) in the Martyrs’ Graveyard in Srinagar

    The tombstone of Afzal Guru placed adjacent to Maqbool Bhat’s (the founder of JKLF) in the Martyrs’ Graveyard in Srinagar

  • On the death anniversary of Afzal Guru, Srinagar often experiences shutdowns and protests.
  • Since the execution of Afzal Guru, many renowned writers have published books on Afzal Guru including ‘The hanging of Afzal Guru and the strange case of the attack on the Indian Parliament’ edited by Arundhati Roy (2013).
  • Reportedly, Afzal was the first prisoner to be executed after the hanging of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s killers ‘Satwant and Kehar.’ [120]The Tribune The execution of Satwant and Kehar took place in 1989 in Tihar jail, New Delhi. [121]The Tribune

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