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Chief justice takes notice of Mashal Khan's lynching

Updated Jun 21, 2017 02:32pm

Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Mian Saqib Nisar on Saturday took notice of the lynching of a university student in Mardan over allegations of blasphemy.

The notice by the chief justice was taken on a news story published in the media containing details of the incident.

Justice Nisar also instructed the inspector general police of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to submit a report on the incident in the next 36 hours.

On April 13, Abdul Wali Khan University, Mardan student Mashal Khan, 23, was shot and beaten to death by a violent mob on university premises.

Read: Mardan university student lynched by mob over alleged blasphemy: police

The mob had also wanted to burn his body before police intervened, a senior police official had said. He had been accused of blasphemy by fellow students.

Another student, Abdullah, was beaten bloody before police managed to rescue him from his attackers. An eyewitness said he was accused of belonging to the Ahmadi faith and forced to recite verses from the Holy Quran, then beaten savagely even though he repeatedly denied the accusation.

No case had been filed against the two students prior to the incident and police had not been investigating the two on blasphemy charges.

The mob instead seems to have been incited by rumours circulating among the university's student body.

Nonetheless, the university said it would investigate three students, including Mashal and Abdullah, for alleged blasphemous activities and ordered them rusticated and banned from the premises of all campuses of the university.

The notification, dated April 13, did not mention any details of the incident or a condemnation of the student's killing, even though the university's provost, Fayyaz Ali Shah, said it had been issued after the lynching.

Mashal Khan.—Facebook
Mashal Khan.—Facebook

However, Khyber Pakhtun­khwa Chief Minister Pervez Khattak on Saturday told the KP assembly that no evidence had been found to suggest that Mashal Khan had committed blasphemy.

"The mobile phone record of the victim has been checked by the police but there was nothing against Islam," he told the province's lawmakers.

“Since the occurrence of the incident, I have been in contact with the inspector general of police; so far, no evidence has emerged to show that blasphemy was committed by the victim,” he said, adding that such brutality would not be tolerated.

A judicial inquiry has also been ordered into the case.