Mumbai: Political parties in Maharashtra today welcomed the execution of 2001 Parliament attack convict Mohammed Afzal Guru, saying the government showed "courage" in taking the decision.
"The government took a long time to take a decision in the case but finally obliged keeping in the mind the sentiments of the people," Shiv Sena spokesperson Sanjay Raut told a news agency here.
"The government showed courage in hanging Guru," he said but rued the delay in the process.
"Terrorists like Guru were kept alive for over a decade on public expense...This is a greater crime," he said.
Raut said that when Pranab Mukherjee came to meet late Bal Thackeray as the Presidential candidate, the Sena chief had urged him not to grant clemency to Guru.
"He (Bal Thackeray) always demanded the execution of Guru as he felt that the terrorist who attacked the sovereignty of the country should not stay alive," he said.
Senior BJP leader Gopinath Munde also expressed satisfaction over the hanging of Guru.
Munde said attack on Parliament was challenge to our sovereignty and it should be treated with very harsh punishment without mercy.
"Nobody would dare to do such activity again in future," he said.
This (hanging) should have happened immediately after he was convicted but `better late then never,` Munde said.
Leader of Opposition in Maharashtra Assembly Eknath Khadse and Leader of Opposition in State Council Vinod Tawde also welcomed the hanging of Guru.
43-year-old Guru, a Jaish-e-Mohammed militant, who was sentenced to death by the Supreme Court in 2004, was hanged at 8 AM in Tihar Jail after his mercy petition was rejected by the President.
On December 13, 2001, five heavily-armed gunmen stormed the Parliament complex and opened indiscriminate fire, killing nine persons.