Fifty-one hours after Afzal Guru was hanged in Delhi's Tihar Jail, his wife finally received the official intimation today that he was being executed.
The letter, sent by the office of the superintendent, Central Jail No 3, said Guru's mercy plea has been rejected by President Pranab Mukherjee and that his hanging was fixed for 8 am on February 9.
The letter dated February 6, 2013, was received by Guru's wife Tabassum at 11 am on Monday. It said, "The petition of the convict Shri Mohd Afzal Guru s/o Habibullah has been rejected by the Honorary President of India.
Hence the execution of Mohd Afzal Guru s/o Habibullah has been fixed for 09-02-2013 at 8 am in Central Jail No 3. For your information and for further necessary action," the letter sent by speed post said.
Booked from GPO New Delhi, the letter was received in Srinagar GPO on February 9, the day Guru was hanged, John Samuel, chief post master heneral of Jammu and Kashmir Circle, said.
"Since Sunday is a public holiday, the letter was delivered this morning at 11 am" Samuel said.
The letter shows the signature of G H Mohidin Ranie who received the letter with 11 am written on it at Guru's house in Seer Jagir in Baramullah's Sopore district.
In New Delhi, Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde claimed the letter was sent by speed post on the night of February 7 and that he has a copy of the receipt.
"I have information that the family has been communicated. The letter was sent through speedp ost on February 7 night and the action (hanging) was taken on February 9," he said.
If the family wants to visit Guru's grave, it can be considered, Shinde said, adding that he had personally told Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on February 8 night, hours before Guru's execution.
A controversy had erupted on Sunday over the communication from the Centre to the family of Guru about the decision to hang him on Saturday with the family alleging they had come to know about his execution only from TV channels.
Though Union Home Secretary R K Singh had said that the family of Guru was sent a communication through speed post, the family insisted that it has not received any such letter about Guru's hanging, raising questions as to whether there was a serious effort to inform the family.
Abdullah questioned the rationale of informing Guru's family through post saying the reliability of the medium itself was questionable. "If we are going to inform someone by post that his family member is going to be hanged, there is something seriously wrong with the system," he had said.
The family of the deceased refused to talk to media on the matter, saying they were still in mourning and would not like to comment.