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Pakistan hangs Punjab governor Taseer’s killer 

Islamabad, Feb 29 (IANS) A self-confessed killer of the then Punjab governor Salmaan Taseer was hanged on Monday in Rawalpindi, the twin city of capital Islamabad.

Mumtaj Qadri was executed at the Adiala jail in Rawalpindi after an anti-terrorism court convicted and sentenced him to death in October 2011.

Qadri, who had trained as an elite police commando and was assigned to Taseer as his bodyguard, shot the politician on January 4, 2011. The killing was termed as one of Pakistan’s most high-profile assassinations, which shocked the country.

Salmaan Taseer had reportedly criticised the anti-blasphemy laws.

Qadri claimed it was his religious duty to kill the governor, who was an outspoken critic of Pakistan’s blasphemy laws and supported liberal reforms.

Qadri was tried and sentenced to death later that year.

A mercy plea was also filed before President Mamnoon Hussain after the apex court upheld his conviction in October last year. However, it was rejected.

After the news of his execution, crowds again took to the streets in protest.

Security forces have been put on high alert and a heavy police deployment, including of riot police, was in place in the area around Qadri’s home in Islamabad, where his funeral would take place.

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