Operation Three Star — codename for Afzal hanging

New Delhi: 'Operation Three Star' was the code name of the entire top secret plan in which Jaish-e -Mohammad terrorist Afzal Guru was hanged in the high-security Tihar Jail on Saturday morning.

The operation had started on February 4, a day after President Pranab Mukherjee rejected the mercy petition of the Parliament attack convict paving the way for his execution.

Government sources told PTI that a handful of top officials in the Home Ministry and Tihar prison were aware of the operation which was kept top secret considering its sensitive nature.

"Every minute step of the operation was finalised extremely carefully so that the information does not go out.

All those involved in the operation maintained highest level of secrecy," said the sources.

Guru, a medical college dropout and resident of Sopore in north Kashmir, was executed at 8 AM on Saturday and buried on the prison premises.

Under the operation, a magistrate was approached on February 6 to get a black warrant issued for hanging of Guru.

Tihar jail authorities received a copy of the black warrant at around 11:30 PM on February 6 and authorities got a letter ready to be sent to Guru's family past midnight at 12:10 AM (February 7).

Though letter was dated February 6, it was sent to the family on the morning of February 7 and reached his family today, 51 hours after he was executed.

'X' was the code name of the operation in which Ajmal Kasab, the lone Pakistani gunman caught alive after the Mumbai terror attack, was hanged to death at Pune's Yerwada Central Jail on November 21.

On death row for over 10 years after conviction for his role in aiding and abetting the attack, a special court had sentenced Guru to death in December 2002 which was upheld by the Supreme Court on August 4, 2005.

Guru was found guilty of conspiring and sheltering the militants who attacked Parliament on December 13, 2001, in which nine persons were killed.

The mercy plea of Guru was rejected by President Pranab Mukherjee on February 3.