Written three days after rejection of mercy plea, it was dispatched by Speed Post a day before execution

The Union government’s communication on the dismissal of Tabassum’s mercy petition by the President and its decision to hang her husband Mohammad Afzal Guru at the Tihar Jail in New Delhi on February 9 reached her at Sopore only on Monday.

Afzal’s cousin Mohammad Yasin Guru confirmed to The Hindu that Ghulam Mohammad Ganai of Doabgah village, in charge of the Sopore post office’s local branch, visited Jageer in the forenoon and delivered the sealed letter to Ms. Tabassum.

The February 6 letter was signed by the Superintendent of Jail No: 3 and dispatched through Speed Post from a New Delhi post office on the morning of February 8. It read: “The mercy petition of convict Sh Mohd. Afjal Guru, S/o Habibillah, has been rejected by [the] Hon’ble President of India. Hence the execution of Mohd. Afjal Guru, S/o Habibillah, has been fixed for 09/02/2013 at 8 A.M.. in Central Jail no-3. This is for your information and further necessary action.”

Ms. Tabassum was present with her family at Jageer, 6 km from Sopore, when the letter arrived. She received it and informed her family.

On Saturday, after Guru was hanged, Union Home Secretary R.K. Singh told journalists in New Delhi that the family had been informed of the execution through a letter sent by Speed Post.

But seals and signatures on the communication make it clear that the letter was written on February 6, or three days after the mercy petition was rejected, and dispatched only a day before the execution.