The Guru household was still waiting for a response to the mercy petition to the President when the news about the hanging of Afzal for his role in the 2001 Parliament attack came.
The family members of Afzal Guru — he is survived by wife Tabassum, 13-year-old son Ghalib and two brothers Aijaz and Hilal — are still in a daze due to the suddenness of the government’s decision.
Earlier, union home secretary RK Singh said in New Delhi: “They (the Tihar jail authorities) intimated the family through Speed Post and registered post and the director general of police in Jammu and Kashmir had been asked to check with the family whether they got it or not.”
But Aijaz claimed that the family got to know about it from television channels and the social media. “I had left the mosque after the morning prayers (on Saturday) when a friend called me to say that Afzal had been hanged. That’s the first time we heard about it,” he said.
Aijaz also demanded that Afzal’s body be handed over to the family. He said, “We have approached the deputy commissioner here and have spoken to our lawyers in Delhi. We have also tried to contact the Tihar authorities for the body.”
One of his cousins, Yaseen, said since Afzal’s wife Tabassum had appealed for mercy in 2006, at least she should have been informed about the plea being rejected. “We got to know when things were being debated and posted on Facebook.”