ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly on Tuesday unanimously passed a resolution condemning cold-blooded murder of Mardan University student Mashal Khan on suspicion of alleged ‘blasphemy’. The murder triggered countrywide condemnations with clamours for retribution for those involved in the barbaric act.
Khan was a student at Wali Khan University in Mardan.
The resolution moved by Federal Minister Rana Tanvir Hussain demanded the federal and provincial governments to take strict action against the perpetrators and facilitators of this heinous act including those making hate speeches.
The resolution expressed the resolve to ensure that strong safeguards are inserted into the blasphemy law to prevent its abuse. It condemned all those who take law into their hands that result into the loss of innocent lives.
Arrests after the murder
A student was also arrested on Monday in the Mashal Khan lynching case. He confessed that the administration of Abdul Wali Khan University asked him to testify against the deceased.
The accused, Wajahat, admitted that he was part of the mob which lynched the 23-year-old Mardan university student.
Police on Saturday had also arrested three more employees in connection to lyching of Khan, taking total number of arrests in the case to 13 by that day.
‘No evidence of blasphemy against Mashal’
Inspector General Khyber Pakhtonkhwa Salahuddin Khan Mehsud, told a press conference that the number of people arrested in connection with the case had risen to 22, from 12 at the weekend. They were mainly students but also included some university clerical workers.
He said police had so far found no evidence to support the blasphemy allegations against Khan, and condemned the university for investigating the case without police involvement.
The DPO said six people suspected of involvement in the incident have been identified as university employees. Technical teams have been formed to conduct special operation for arrest of other suspects as well, he added.
A group of university students and employees beat the Mass Communication student, Mashal, to death on April 13. The university was closed until further orders after the barbaric incident.
The brutality of the attack, recorded on a mobile phone camera, shocked the public and led to widespread condemnation, including from prominent clerics.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif vowed to prosecute the perpetrators as protests broke out in several cities.