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Tuesday, September 19, 2023

Mashal Khan’s father challenges verdict on son’s killers

News Desk |

The tragically murdered Mashal Khan’s bereaved father challenged an anti-terrorism court’s verdict in the Peshawar High Court on Friday, 30th March.

Iqbal Lala, Mashal’s father had filed three appeals; two against Arif Khan and Asad Zia Katlang who were sentenced to life in prison and the third one against the acquittal of Azhar and Sabir Mayar. Mashal’s father pleaded the court to convert the two convicts’ life imprisonment into the death penalty.

At least 61 people suspected to be involved in the lynching were charged in the first information report.

On March 21, ATC Peshawar jailed two suspects for life in the Mashal Khan lynching case and acquitted two others. ATC judge Mahmoodul Hassan Khattak reserved the verdict on March 12 and then again on March 16th.

Mashal Khan was a 23-year-old mass communications student at Mardan’s Abdul Wali Khan University who was beaten and shot to death by a mob on April 13, 2017, after being accused of blasphemy.

Read more: Mashal Khan case: PTI councillor one of the two awarded life…

One of the men sentenced to life is a PTI tehsil councillor identified as Arif Khan while the other is Asad Katlang. Sabir Mayar and Azhar have been acquitted. Mayar was the president of the Pakhtun Students Federation at Abdul Wali Khan University and hence was able to incite and influence students with the blasphemy connotation which consequentially led to Mashal Khan’s lynching.

Earlier, at least 61 people suspected to be involved in the lynching were charged in the first information report. The main suspect, Imran, was handed a death sentence twice, while 25 people suspects were given 25 years in jail while 25 others were handed four-year sentences. Twenty-six suspects were acquitted in the case.

In June 2017, a 13-member joint investigation team concluded that the allegations of blasphemy against Mashal Khan were unfounded and were used as an excuse to incite a mob against him.