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Lynching suspect gives statement: 'University administration asked me to testify against Mashal'

Updated Apr 18, 2017 12:24am

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A student arrested in the Mashal Khan lynching case on Monday has said that the administration of Abdul Wali Khan University asked him to testify against the deceased.

The accused, Wajahat, admitted that he was part of the mob which lynched the 23-year-old Mardan university student.

His statement comes hours after Abdullah, a student who survived despite being beaten violently, said he was asked to testify that Mashal had committed blasphemy — a request which he refused.

Suspect Wajahat also claimed in his statement that on April 13 he was called to the chairman’s office by class representative Mudassir Bashir, who asked him to testify against Mashal before the university administration.

"Some 15 to 20 people, including university officials were present at the chairman's office."

"The administration had convened the meeting to decide the case of Mashal Khan and Bashir had called me to be a witness regarding the blasphemous ideas of Mashal Khan," said the accused. Despite senior police officials saying they have found no evidence to suggest Mashal had engaged in activity amounting to blasphemy, Wajahat claims Mashal 'committed blasphemy'.

He also alleged that the security in-charge of the university, Bilal Baksh, said those that step forward to protect Mashal and his supporters would be dealt with "an iron hand".

Baksh, according to Wajahat, further said that he would kill Mashal.

"Hearing this, the congress turned into a violent mob and rushed towards the hostel," said Wajahat.

In the statement, Wajahat has said that if he had known what the administration was conspiring against Mashal, he would have never come to the university on that day.

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.

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.

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 was ordered into the case. The Supreme Court of Pakistan has also taken notice of the incident.

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Comments (67) Closed



Feroz Apr 17, 2017 10:46pm

Very sad story with too many agent provocateurs. The role played by the University and its employees is condemnable.

Nasir Apr 17, 2017 11:04pm

I don't care what his views were , he did not deserve to be murdered - the way these savages have acted is totally contrary to our beloved prophet and Islam

Hero Apr 17, 2017 11:07pm

Condemnable act.

MJK Apr 17, 2017 11:21pm

Does n't matter who said what, the young man was lynched by a mob, sadly some people from the university administration were the accomplice in Mashal's murder.

BAMBOO Apr 17, 2017 11:34pm

Sad part is university playing a role and gave judgment what others feel or believe in

hashim Apr 17, 2017 11:48pm

Some times we have to take very hard stand and do just right thing. No one has to be murdered this because of their believes and views if they are not harming anyone. This barbaric act is punishable to the fullest and culprits deserved an exemplary punishment in an open field of this university where this crime is committed for others to learn a lesson, absolutely no mercy.

Abdulla Hussain Apr 18, 2017 12:12am

Pre mediated murder by who ever was involved. Must be dealt with iron hand.

Saeeds Apr 18, 2017 12:18am

However participated in this heinous act should be circumcised again....at least for couple of inches.

shabat Apr 18, 2017 12:18am

The case of blasphemy should be file against those people who killed Mashal because they themselves did not follow the teaching of Prophet Muhamad. So if you did not follow his teaching of love and peace than case of blasphemy should be file against you.

aseef Apr 18, 2017 12:18am

its failure of uni admins and kp police equally,they failed in carrying out their duties.CM KP must resign to make history.He will stand tall because of it.Uni admin must be punished by dismissing and black list them to enter any other public office.Test case for PTI,do it to make an example

naji Apr 18, 2017 12:21am

Immediately arrest acting VC, and registrar. I have seen Mashal interview for regular VC and activities of registrar on TV.

Logic Apr 18, 2017 12:25am

Oh my God, University admin sent students to sort the matter out. The involvement of University admin can not be ruled out.

shah g Apr 18, 2017 12:27am

Evenif the deceased committed blasphemy which apparently he didnt, he must not be lyched to death. Instead of taking law into their hands the uni administeation should have called in police to investigate the matter.

DIL Apr 18, 2017 12:28am

picture is now crystal clear that due to personal grudge and enmity these criminals used the blasphemy law . This law needs to be re-visited and amended to remove the loop holes .

ASIF MEMON Apr 18, 2017 12:35am

There is no need to go into the details of whether Mashaal Khan committed blasphemy or not cause he is no more now. The message should go clean and clear to those who murdered him as well as the rest, that none other than the state has got only right to prosecute. Nobody can take law into his/her hand. If anybody found taking law into his hand will not be spared no matter what caused them to do so.

AKRAM Apr 18, 2017 12:36am

Why is it always that those who proclaim to love prophets and want to spread their message of peace are found as MURDERERS in such cases? And never the other way around.

amir Apr 18, 2017 12:36am

So it is now clear that Mashal Khan was framed and the people behind it are the university administration. The university administration fueled the fire that led to Mashal's death and they should be punished the same way as those who were directly involved in hitting the body.

AN Ashamed Pakistani Apr 18, 2017 12:47am

@hashim FULLY agree with you. Enough is enough. The government should deal with these elements and their supporters with iron hand.

nuzhat shireen Apr 18, 2017 12:51am

the university also played evil game when they locked the innocent boy into hostel room so that he was unable to run.

Jaleel U Rahman Apr 18, 2017 01:06am

Watch and see the statement of this witness changing soon. This is what goes on in our institutions of higher learnings. Administartion rather than teaching that it is no body's business to get involved in such issues in the univercity , start investigating and calls the witnesses.That is what makes it a big deal.

Muhammad Kamran Apr 18, 2017 01:14am

This is a strong lead! The University administration's role has surely been fishy throughout and I wouldn't be surprised if someone in University administration is part of the terrible crime.

Khomenies Apr 18, 2017 01:28am

The barbaric crime is wittnessed by masses, catch all the culprits and punish them according to law, umnecessary dragging the issue is waste of time. It is not a case of blasphemy it is a case of cold blooded murder

Nt Apr 18, 2017 02:29am

So what is government waiting for? How come the university administration, chancellor and direct reports have not been arrested?

baig Apr 18, 2017 02:33am

I am amazed to see the efforts put by politicians, law enforcing agencies and news media to convey that Mashal did not commit blasphemy. The man was murdered and law taken in hands, isn't that enough?

PhilosoPher(from japan) Apr 18, 2017 02:43am

Self proclaimed religious thanedar, who gave them right to kill an innocent one?

Saad Bin Razzaq Apr 18, 2017 02:49am

This university needs to be closed. Nothing is beyond humanity and any institution teaching otherwise should not exist.

Samir lone Apr 18, 2017 02:51am

File blasphemy charges against murderers like these. And he's lying

Ayub Apr 18, 2017 02:56am

No person can be condemned for the alleged offence unless he is given the opportunity of a fair trial in the court of law.

Zubair Syed Apr 18, 2017 03:14am

The Vice Chancellor of the University along other senior officials should be suspended till the investigation of this case is completed. It seems likely that the University Administration was some how involved in this crime.

Noman Apr 18, 2017 03:21am

In almost every news article I have read about this tragic and barbaric event, a lot of emphasis has been given to the fact that the victim held no blasphemous views.

I'd think the message and prevalent notion should be that lynching and beating to death defenseless people are evil acts and the perpetrators should get harshest penalty. It should not matter at all what the views of victim were. Making "and he wasn't blasphemous" as one of the prime tenets of this case, does not give the right reasons for why this was such a horrible act. Another ignorant person months or years down the road will be part of a mob in the same situation, and would think, 'this person is surely blasphemous unlike that student' and march on. Until such acts and the people engaging them are completely marginalized in all parts of society, such atrocities unfortunately will continue to happen.

Waaris Apr 18, 2017 03:23am

It is less important what university wanted to label Mashal as. It is the uncontrolled reaction of our completely misguided and easily impressionable youth which is the main worry.

aslam shaikh Apr 18, 2017 03:48am

Why did the University administration want this to happen? Is it because Mashal was vocal about the financial irregularities happening in University?

Sana ishaq Apr 18, 2017 04:15am

It would have been a crime no matter what. But the proof that Mashal had not done blasphemy would make his family's life easy. Remember they live in a small town where local Mullah refused to offer Janaza prayer of Mashal. This investigation is important for their survival.

Change Apr 18, 2017 04:24am

Now is the time to clear all institutes from politics and make them strictly educational like in developed countries. Needs to implement this across all the country to at all levels.

Asmat Apr 18, 2017 05:22am

"When I checked the hands and fingers of My Mashal, all bones were broken". These are the words of a mama. How lower do we have to get to find our humanity. This is what our University Educated lot had done to Our Mashal. He is our Mashal and he now belongs to our collective conscience, if we have got one. May your Rooh stay in peace and be with Those in whose name you were mercilessly murdered.

Asif A Shah Apr 18, 2017 05:29am

Thank you " Dawn" for providing a thorough coverage of this horrible and tragic incident. This is truly an act of public service. I am appalled at the role played by the University Authorities in this regard. However, I am not really surprised. Pakistani society is corrupt to its core. There is a severe shortage of enlightened, scholarly and courageous people in educational institutions. For a moment, I was duped in believing that because the university officials wanted to be fair to everybody, therefore, it wanted to have its own inquiry to determine if there was enough provocation in Pakistani context. Now I am beginning to believe that the university officials themselves had a motive/design in getting Mashal beaten up if not killed. Nevertheless, their attempt to derail the process of justice is totally reprehensible. PTI Chairman, Imran Khan and KP Chief Minister Mr. Pervaiz Khattak should take notice of the role played by the university authorities in this matter.

M. Siddique Apr 18, 2017 05:36am

Detain the University administration before they flee to Afghanistan. Everyone who had hand in this gruesome murder must be severely held accountable.

Kajamohideen1966 Apr 18, 2017 05:39am

@Nasir who was the inspiration for this evil act?

missireallymiss Apr 18, 2017 06:07am

@MJK like i said, everyone knows the truth, it's the cover up part they have a hard time explaining.

Rican K Apr 18, 2017 06:48am

The university officials should be held accountable for their actions. How can they expell anyone without proof. Secondly they indirectly instigated the mob. They should be severely punished

Shan Apr 18, 2017 08:10am

So now the actors behind this mess basically have committed blasphemy and should be tried according to the law.

Waseem Apr 18, 2017 08:28am

At this point choice is between "law" and "mob". People should clearly take one side.

Sameer Apr 18, 2017 08:38am

Too many innocents have died.

jamal Apr 18, 2017 08:58am

University authorities involved should also be charged with murder ,

Amir ali khan Apr 18, 2017 09:20am

Religious fanatics in our society are getting ascendency. It's a dangerous sign which must be checked by framing appropriate law and its strict implementation . Culprits must not go unpunished .

SID Apr 18, 2017 09:27am

Still university VC & security in charge are roaming free !!!

Ghalib Apr 18, 2017 09:43am

University Official a involved should be tried for Murder, it is unacceptable that they are still not arrested.

raja (samundri) Apr 18, 2017 09:46am

Why don't you admit that universities bear the burden of incompetent professors.

masii Apr 18, 2017 10:17am

So sad to know,the varsity management should be dealt with iron hand...

Muslim Apr 18, 2017 10:53am

Mishal was killed apparently for some reasons. Those who wanted him to be killed remained off the scene.

Aamir Latif Apr 18, 2017 11:02am

Savages need to brought to justice including University administration. No one had right to become a judge to decide, it's a matter of taking law into hand and killing an innocent on false pretext as the evidences have come out. I hope both KPK and GoP will see that justice is served instead of becoming accomplices to religious fanatics.

asif Ali Apr 18, 2017 11:49am

Sen all of them to jail for provoking murder.

Azhar Abbas Apr 18, 2017 12:52pm

Alarming and atrocious.

BAXAR Apr 18, 2017 01:12pm

@Waseem "At this point choice is between "law" and "mob". People should clearly take one side." They can see the mob doing it's job, and the law waiting for instructions. The conclusion drawn by the people, may be that mob is a safer place than the law. You are safe from the law and the mob, when you side with the mob, especially when it is lead by religious overtone. Sometime they may feel that the law is enforced through a mob. People can make a clear choice only when they can see a clear distinction between the two.

I am HUMANIST, I AM MASHAL KHAN Apr 18, 2017 03:35pm

Involvement of Uni/Govt Officials, the case is now more sensitive in terms of justice. The govt officials will use every head and tow to defend themselves from trail in future. The KPK govt and Police are under pressure. No Govt/body would allow fair investigation, causing huge sum of employee involve in criminal activities. They use money, power, etc to manipulate the investigation. The result would be like the arresting of few students and very few lower staff of Uni. None of the Uni official would be trail.

Nasir London Apr 18, 2017 04:15pm

@Jaleel U Rahman: On lookers are equal accomplices in the murder of Mashal Khan. They did nothing to stop the heinous crime. The university administration should be put behind bar as accessory to murder.

Khalid Apr 19, 2017 02:06pm

@M. Siddique they might flee to punjab where the safe heavens are, Afghanistan has got nothing to do with this

Exlim Apr 19, 2017 06:10pm

Everybody is investigating whether Mashal had blasphemed, not the fact that the mob took upon itself to be the judge, jury and executioner. What a jungle this has become. Blasphemy law must be eradicated so there are no ifs, and or buts.

Abdul muqtadir Apr 19, 2017 06:12pm

This is a clear case of murder. Rather than investigating whether or not Blasphemy was committed, police, University officials should concentrate on the murder and arrest, prosecute and punish those responsible for the murder and attempt to kill other two students. That's what the justice demands. Side tracking by investigating so called charges of Blasphemy is nothing but technique to deny the justice.

Abdul muqtadir Apr 19, 2017 06:49pm

@Exlim Excellent statement, thanks.

Abdul muqtadir Apr 19, 2017 06:51pm

Hold the University Vice Chancellor, and Administration responsible for this murder, prosecute them and take them to the prison. This will then serves as deterent for future schemers.

amd Apr 19, 2017 11:25pm

Shocking behaviour from students,at least college students are supposed to be liberal and tolerant But they behaved like intolerant illiterates

Ali Vazir Apr 20, 2017 12:19am

No matter how depressing, disgusting and condemnable this incident is considered and deplored. Probably the more depressing is the persistent mud-slinging, accusing and even worse spreading all hatred without any evidence and proof by the so-called religious people is. Sickening to see what the society is moving towards - nothing but self-destruction.

AhmAd Apr 20, 2017 07:33am

@Abdul muqtadir I think this university should be closed down for good. If educators cannot deliver proper education, then the institute should take the responsibility. And I agree, the university administration should be tried and sentenced.

Udayakumar Apr 20, 2017 10:34am

@Ayub , Fully agree with you.Kulbhushan too needs a fair trial. Otherwise, it will be premeditated murder like the university lynching incident.

Kiran Apr 20, 2017 01:32pm

After every brutal incident in Pakistan, higher authorities always "takes notice of it".

brar Apr 20, 2017 01:32pm

@aseef My dearUniversity employees were part of the dirty game and all of them should be punished.