Peshawar (February 27, 2018): Peshawar High Court (PHC) on Tuesday has granted bail to as many as 25 convicts, who were sentenced to three years in jail by the trial court, in Mashal lynching case.
On the other hand, Supreme Court (SC) has also disposed of suo moto notice after Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) additional advocate general assured that the convicts have been given punishments.
A three-member bench headed by the chief justice of Pakistan was conducting a hearing into Mashal Khan murder suo moto case. At the hearing, Additional Advocate General KPK informed the court that the accused in Mashal Khan case are being convicted and an appeal was also filed over the acquittal of some of the co-accused from the lower court by the provincial government.The CJP remarked that since the accused were convicted therefore the case would no longer be heard and wrapped up its hearings. The anti-terrorism court (ATC) hearing the Mashal Khan lynching case sentenced one accused to death and five others life imprisonment, jail officials informed.
Mashal Khan, a mass communication student at Mardan’s Abdul Wali Khan University, was lynched to death by a mob of angry students on 13th April last year over rumors that he and his friends committed blasphemy.
On February 8, the anti-terrorism court (ATC) in Haripur had sentenced accused Imran to death and five others to 25 years in jail.ATC Jugde Fazal Khan Subhan read out the verdicts against each of the 57 men accused in the case one-by-one. Tight security arrangements were in place due to the sensitivity of the case, with roads leading to the Haripur Central jail being closed. The court had also acquitted 26 people in the case.
After Mashal’s murder, Supreme Court of Pakistan’s chief justice took notice and ordered a judicial inquiry. For this purpose, a joint investigation team was formed to investigate what led to the gruesome murder.
The JIT report had revealed that the lynching Mashal who was falsely accused of blasphemy was organized by other students from his own secular political group who viewed him as a rival and faculty members who resented his criticism of the university.The report also revealed that officials from the university administration were also involved in his murder. The report also stated that there were no solid proofs found about blasphemy committed by Mashal and his friends.
The brutality of the attack, recorded on a mobile phone camera, had shocked the public and led to widespread condemnation, including from prominent clerics.