Khyber PakhtoonKhuwa

Suspects in Mashal Khan murder case to be indicted on Sept 19: sources

Mashal Khan

ABBOTTABAD: After a brief halt in Mashal Khan lynching case proceedings, the arrested suspects are going to be finally indicted on September 19 (Tuesday), sources said. 

As many as 57 suspects including four absconders will be indicted on murder charges of a journalism student at Abdul Wali Khan University (AWKU) in Mardan city of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP).

According to informed sources, an anti-terrorism court (ATC) here will conduct hearing on daily basis at Haripur prison from September 20.

Sources further said that the ATC will also announce a verdict on a bail plea filed by one of the suspects on September 18.

It is worth mentioning here that Mashal, 23, a student at the AWKU’s Mass Communication department was beaten and shot to death on April 13 by an unruly mob, which instigated by rumours that Mashal committed blasphemy by posting sacrilegious content online.

Following his cold-blooded murder, police claimed to arrest over 50 people in connection with the murder, mostly the varsity’s employees and students.

JIT’s STARTLING REVELATIONS

A Joint Investigation Team (JIT), formed to probe Mashal Khan’s lynching incident at AWKU in its report made startling revelations that the cold-blooded murder of 23-year-old journalism student was carried out under a well-planned plot while ruling out the victim’s involvement in publishing blasphemous content in June.

Pakhtun Student Federation’s president and an employee of the Abdul Wali Khan University had plotted to eliminate Mashal Khan for his activism at AWKU a month before the lynching incident as his active participation and ideas were becoming a threat for the student federation to sustain its position, revealed the JIT report.

According to probing team’s compiled report, nothing was found to substantiate the blasphemy charges against the slain student and his two other companions. “A group of people instigated the mob against him by accusing him of committing blasphemy”, the JIT report further revealed.

It said the lynching victim was outspoken about irregularities committed by the university administration, more particularly the appointments of incompetent and unqualified persons on political basis, adding that the culture of drugs and bringing weapons were a norm at the university.

The JIT unveiled that various employees of the varsity were holding criminal record, thus they should be subjected to an investigation. It added that out of 57 culprits, 54 had been put behind bars.

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