Afzal Guru's last letter to family: Don't mourn me

Afzal Guru in December 2002 Image copyright AFP
Image caption Afzal Guru's appeal for clemency was rejected

Afzal Guru, a Kashmiri man hanged for plotting to attack India's parliament in 2001, told his family not to mourn his death in a letter he wrote just before his execution on 9 February.

Guru - on death row since 2002 - had his clemency plea rejected.

He died in Tihar jail in Delhi and was buried there - his family are demanding his body be returned.

The hanging has led to daily protests in Indian-administered Kashmir.

Guru addressed his last letter to "respected family and all the believers". The letter, released by his family, was written less than two hours before his execution.

'Truth and righteousness'

"I thank almighty, that he has chosen me for this stature. From my side, I want to congratulate all the believers," he wrote in Urdu.

"We all should stay with truth and righteousness, and our end must also come on the path of truth and righteousness.

"My request to my family is that instead of grieving over my end, they should respect the stature I have achieved."

The Muslim-majority Kashmir Valley has seen widespread protests since his death. Three youths have died during clashes with the security forces.

Guru's family, who were not informed before he was executed, have rejected the Indian government's offer to visit his grave.

Guru had denied any involvement in the events of 13 December 2001 when five militants stormed the Indian parliament, killing a gardener and eight policemen before they were shot dead by security forces.

He was found guilty of arranging weapons for the attackers and of membership of the Jaish-e-Mohammed militant group, both of which charges he denied.

India said Jaish-e-Mohammed was backed by Pakistan.

Pakistan denied involvement in the attack but relations between the two countries nosedived as their armies massed about a million troops along the border.

Claimed in its entirety by both India and Pakistan, Kashmir has been a flashpoint for more than 60 years and two wars have been fought over it.

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