Peshawar (July 27, 2017): The Peshawar High Court (PHC) ordered on Thursday that the Mashal Khan murder case be shifted to the Abbottabad Anti-Terrorism Court from Mardan.
The PHC bench, headed by Chief Justice Yahya Afridi, ordered for strict security measures at the Haripur Central Jail where the hearings will now take place.
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Mashal’s father, Iqbal Khan, as well as the provincial government, had petitioned the PHC to move the case out of Mardan for fear of a law and order situation.
Iqbal has stated that he faces pressure from the suspects’ families and feared the case would not get a fair trial in Mardan.
Meanwhile, families of the suspects informed the PHC that shifting the case outside Mardan would have a negative impact on the education of the university students.
Mashal was a student of the Abdul Wali Khan University in Mardan and was lynched by his fellow students and university employees on April 13, 2017, after he was accused of blasphemy.
Mardan police subsequently arrested 57 people, while some are believed to still be at large.
Later, a report of the Joint Investigation Team formed to probe the case revealed that leaders of Pakhtun Students Federation, the student wing of Awami National Party, incited people to attack Mashal on the pretext of blasphemy. The report also stated that the murder was premeditated.