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India: Jammu and Kashmir shutdown on Afzal Guru's death anniversary

In this file photograph dated 16 December 2002, Delhi Police escort Mohammed Afzal Guru (C) to court in New Delhi, 16 December 2002. Photograph: (AFP)

Reuters New Delhi, Delhi, India Feb 09, 2017, 07.25 AM (IST)

Separatists on Thursday called for a shutdown in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir on the death anniversary of Afzal Guru, who was executed for his involvement in the 2001 parliament attack case.

On December 13, 2001, five gunmen stormed the Indian parliament complex in New Delhi, killing nine people, mostly policemen, before themselves being gunned down.

Guru, who was held guilty in the case, was given death sentence by a Delhi court on December 18, 2002, after being convicted of conspiracy to attack parliament and waging war against the country and murder.

On Thursday, security was stepped up in Srinagar city to prevent any untoward incident and authorities imposed restrictions in sensitive areas of the volatile province.

Markets remained shut and vehicles largely stayed off the roads as majority of the residents chose to stay indoors.

Guru was convicted of helping organise arms for the gunmen who carried out the attack and a place for them to stay. He always maintained his innocence.

President Pranab Mukherjee had rejected a mercy petition from the Kashmiri and he was hanged in Tihar jail in New Delhi on February 9, 2013.

India blamed the parliament attack on Pakistan-backed militants, targeting the prime minister, interior minister and legislators in one of the country's worst ever militant attacks.

Pakistan denied any involvement and condemned the attack but tension rose sharply and brought the nuclear-armed rivals dangerously close to their fourth war.

Nearly a million soldiers were mobilised on both sides of the border and fears of war only dissipated months later, in June 2002.

 

(Reuters)

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