Tabassum Guru is a Kashmiri woman and a widow of the Indian Parliament attack convict Mohammad Afzal Guru who was handed three life sentences and a double death sentence.
Tabassum Guru was born in 1979 (age 43 years; as of 2022) in Azad Gunj village of Baramulla district in Jammu and Kashmir.
Hair Colour: Salt and Pepper
Eye Colour: Dark Brown
Tabassum Guru belongs to a Muslim family.
Parents & Siblings
Her father’s name is Ghulam Mohammad Bhurro. She has an elder sister.
Husband & Children
On 1 November 1998, Tabassum got married to her cousin Mohammad Afzal Guru at the age of eighteen years. Tabassum and Afzal were blessed with a son Galib Guru.
Tabassum Guru follows Islam.
Tabassum Guru works as a nurse at a private nursing home ‘Sopore Nursing Home’ in Sopore town situated in the Baramulla district of Jammu and Kashmir.
An Unpleasant Experience in Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir
In an interview, Tabassum shared an incident that took place after a few months of her marriage with Afzal. Tabassum shared a fact that Afzal used to hold her hands whenever they went out shopping. She said that one of the days when they were returning home from shopping, men in uniforms at the Army camp nearby threw stones at them when they walked ahead. This incident had an irreversible effect on Afzal. Tabassum said,
We were walking back home, crossing an Army camp where the men in uniform were playing their evening games. When we walked past, they pelted stones at me, calling me names. Afzal did not say a word and neither did I expect him to. When we got home, he swallowed two painkillers. I asked him why and he said: ‘Look at me, he threw stones at you and I couldn’t say or do anything. What a coward I have become? How long should I keep quiet.”
Afzal Guru – Double Death Sentence
Reportedly, on 4 August 2005, for his involvement in the Indian Parliament Attack (2001), Afzal Guru was awarded three life sentences and a double death sentence by the Supreme Court of India. The judgement of the Supreme Court of India read,
As is the case with most conspiracies, there is and could be no evidence amounting to criminal conspiracy. The incident, which resulted in heavy casualties, had shaken the entire nation, and the collective conscience of society will only be satisfied if capital punishment is awarded to the offender.”
Mercy Petition for Husband
Reportedly, on 3 October 2006, Tabassum Guru filed a mercy petition with former President Dr APJ Abdul Kalam. According to the reports, on 3 February 2013, then President Pranab Mukherjee rejected Afzal’s mercy petition.
The Last Letter from Afzal
Some media claimed that before one hour of hanging, Afzal Guru wrote a letter to his family and mentioned the believers of Allah (God) in the letter. Reportedly, the Superintendent of Central Jail also wrote to inform her (Tabassum) that it was Afzal’s original letter. The Superintendent of Central Jail wrote,
This is in continuation of our letter of 6-2-XIII. I am enclosing herewith the original letter written by late Sh Afzal Guru to you. Kindly acknowledge receipt.”
Media also claimed that, according to Afzal’s family, the letter was despatched on 11 February 2013 through speed post in New Delhi and was delivered at Jageer village in Sopore at 11 AM on 12 February 2013.
Reportedly, in his last words, Afzal thanked God for choosing him to sacrifice his soul and asked his family to feel proud of him for the same. He also mentioned, in the last letter (written in Urdu), all the believers of God (none by name) and left a message to be right and always be truthful. The letter said,
[My] Respected family members and the Believers [of Allah]. May Allah’s blessings be upon you all. A hundred thousand gratitudes to Allah that He chose me for this stature. Also my greetings to all Believers [of Allah] that we all remained on the side of the truth and the right. May we all be on this path [of righteousness] and die for the truth and the right. This is my request to the members of my family that they should all respect the stature I have attained [by my execution] rather than nourishing a sense of loss and repentance on my death. May Allah be the saviour and the protector for all of you.”
The Hanging of Afzal Guru
On 9 February 2013, sharp at 8 AM, Afzal Guru was hanged to death in Tihar jail, Delhi, India. Reportedly, he was buried near the grave of Maqbool Bhat in Tihar jail, India. Reportedly, Afzal’s family also wrote a letter to claim the body. The letter read,
We are writing to you to please permit the family members to give Afzal Guru proper dignified last rites in accordance with the religious traditions…If you could inform us when the family members can perform the ‘Namaaz-e-Janaza’, we would appreciate it.”
During an interview, Tabassum shared a small incident in which she asked her son question whether he would have stood seeing his father during his execution if the officials had allowed it. Galib’s response to this was a ‘no.’ This incident made Tabassum think that the decision not to hand over his husband’s body to the family was an act of disgrace by the Indian government. Tabassum said,
In a way, Ghalib’s response made me think that Indian government has only shamed itself by conducting a secret execution and not allowing us to see him or perform last his rites. And, by going there, we could only allow them to show the world that they are a great democracy. So we didn’t. Yiman gas roy-e-siyahi gasinn (They must be shamed).”
Remembrance of Husband
In an interview, Tabassum recalled the appearance of Afzal after his arrest from Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir on 15 December 2001. According to her, he resembled Aamir Khan from the film Mangal Pandey (2005). According to Tabassum, in 2005, Afzal once wrote a letter to her father asking him to find her another man to get married to. Recalling that letter, Tabassum said,
I was so angry. Who was he to say that to me? I hadn’t ever asked for a divorce.”
According to Tabassum, Afzal had written her numerous letters during his imprisonment.
During an interview, delivered from the husband’s memory, Tabassum recited a couplet that Afzal used to recite to her,
Woh kehte the [he used to say]:
Khaak ho jayenge hum,
Tumko khabar ho ne tak.
[I would have turned into soil,
By the time the news reaches you].”
Conversant with Afzal’s Involvement in the Attack
In an interview, Tabassum didn’t disprove the fact of Afzal’s involvement in the attack which she suspected but didn’t try to confront and stop him. Tabassum said,
I won’t lie. I suspected, but I never checked, asked or stopped him.”
She also expressed her anger at the decision of her husband’s execution and said,
I agree, he was not fully innocent, but did he really deserve the death sentence? What about those who actually shot those people? They walk away free?”
Tabassum’s Life in Sopore
During an interview, Tabassum revealed that her house has been on watch 24×7 by the security forces after Afzal’s death. She also mentioned that security forces would often visit her house for checking. Tabassum gave a glimpse of how they would come for the checking at her house and said,
They walk around with their dirty boots all over my carpet. Nowadays, I laugh and tell them ‘Please come in, this is your own house.”
- Afzal used to call Tabassum by the name ‘Pyaari.’
- During an interview, Tabassum shared a memory from the days when she used to visit Afzal in Tihar jail and he once said to her that she had made herself so strong that he had not seen her crying. Afzal used to say, Bi wuch’ha zanh tchenyen aetchan manz oash (I wish I could see tears in your eyes). Tche tchai kan’yu waenij baneymich (Your heart has turned to stone in its strength).”