The general opinion in the valley is that Guru did not receive a fair trial and that Indian political and judicial institutions "colluded" in his verdict. The hanging was also criticized amid a renewed debate about capital punishment.
“If circumstantial evidence is enough to send a man to the gallows, what about [Narinder] Modi, who supervised a pogrom against Muslims in [the Indian state of] Gujarat?” asked a local resident, peering through a window in Srinagar, the region’s summer capital. He declined to give his name.
Fearing further protest, the government has detained more than 100 political activists, including all those identified as separatist leaders. Three persons died during protests over the hanging, including a teenage boy killed when Indian security forces fired at protesters near Guru’s village.
“The Indian state in Kashmir has dropped its mask. I am waiting for a call for a protest march and I am going to go out and join it,” said Siddiq Wahid, a historian and former vice-chancellor of the Islamic University of Science and Technology here. “I fear this can take the situation back to collective confrontation.”