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India hangs man for 2001 attack on Parliament

NEW DELHI A Kashmiri man convicted in the 2001 attack on India's Parliament has been hanged in an Indian prison after a final mercy plea was rejected, a senior Indian Home Ministry official said Saturday.

Home Secretary R.K. Singh told reporters that Afzal Guru was executed early Saturday morning in New Delhi's Tihar prison.

"It was the law taking its course," Singh said.

Afzal Guru has been on death row since being convicted by India's top court in 2002. A mercy petition sent to India's president, the last step in the judicial process, was turned down earlier this week.

Several rights groups including political groups in Indian Kashmir have said that Guru did not get a fair trial.

Government prosecutors have said that Guru was a member of the militant group Jaish-e-Mohammed, a charge he denied.

On Saturday, thousands of police and paramilitary troops fanned out across Indian Kashmir preparing for any protests and violence that might break out following the announcement of the execution. A curfew was also imposed in the Himalayan state.

Six security troops and a gardener were killed in the December 2001 attack. All five men who launched the attack were also killed.

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