One awarded death sentence, 5 get life term in Mashal murder case

Feb 08, 2018, 00:09
One awarded death sentence, 5 get life term in Mashal murder case

According to a probe report, Mashal Khan had been vocal about the rights of students at the university and even challenged the appointment of a new vice chancellor (VC) at the university to ensure that students were able to obtain their degrees, which is not possible without the VC's signature, Dawn online reported.

Mashal Khan, 23, a student at the Abdul Wali Khan University, was lynched to death by a mob on allegations of blasphemy on April 13 a year ago.

Another 26 students brought in the Mashal Khan case were acquitted with those accused of his murder including students, university staff and officials.

One of the 31 accused had been sentenced to death, five were jailed for life and the other 25 were jailed for four years.

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Khan was an undergraduate student at the Abdul Wali Khan University in the northern town of Mardan, about 122km west of the capital, Islamabad.

A total of 61 accused, the majority of them students and university employees and a tehsil councillor, were directly charged in the FIR.

He was attacked after a debate on religion at his dormitary, with an investigation ruling that Khan did not engage in blasphemy. "We are going to prove this in the high court", Iqbal Khan told media persons in London.

After the verdict, Aimal Khan, the brother of late Mashal, demanded the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa police to urgently arrest the absconders. He is visiting London to talk at various forums about his son's case and the blasphemy law.

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Praising the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) police and their performance, Imran said they have shown professionalism. Police guard his grave.

Blasphemy became a controversial issue in Pakistan after laws were amended in the 1980s making it an offence punishable by the death penalty, although nobody has been executed so far.

The killing of 23-year-old Mashal Khan, which was filmed and posted to social media, ignited national outrage in Pakistan, where blasphemy cases have increasingly sparked violence in recent years. His killer, Mumtaz Qadri, who was executed a year ago, has been hailed as a martyr by religious hardliners.

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