Afzal Guru hanging: Protests erupt as India executes man for 2001 Parliament attack
"The Congress has now deprived the BJP of a propaganda plank," he said, referring to the main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
Government officials dismissed suggestions that electoral politics played a role in the decision to execute Guru.
In major towns of Indian Kashmir, where security forces have battled a Muslim separatist insurgency for decades, barricades were erected and hundreds of police and paramilitary force members were deployed.
"The hanging of Afzal Guru is a declaration of war by India," said Hilal Ahmad War, leader of a separatist faction.
Authorities shut down internet services and blocked social networking sites to try to stop unrest from spreading. The chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir state, Omar Abdullah, made a televised appeal for calm.
Scuffles also broke out in New Delhi between Hindu activists and demonstrators who gathered at a city-centre protest site to condemn the hanging, a Reuters witness said.
Five militants stormed the heavily guarded parliament complex in New Delhi on Dec. 13, 2001, armed with grenades, guns and explosives, but security forces killed them before they could enter the main chamber. Ten other people, most of them security officers, were killed in the clash.
Guru, an Indian national, was convicted for helping organise arms for the attackers and a place for them to stay. He had denied any involvement in the conspiracy.
India said the Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad militant group was responsible. The group fights Indian rule in Muslim-majority Kashmir.
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