Mardan police announce arrest of shooter in Mashal lynching case

Published April 27, 2017
The suspect, identified as Imran, was presented to the media with his face covered.
The suspect, identified as Imran, was presented to the media with his face covered.

Mardan's Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of Police Mohammad Alam Shinwari on Thursday announced that the young man who shot Mashal Khan in the Mardan lynching incident had been arrested.

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

Police officials said that he had been accused of running Facebook pages "which allegedly published blasphemous content".

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

Addressing the press, the DIG said police had acquired CCTV footage of the incident.

He added that after conducting investigations, police had today arrested a man identified as Imran, who is suspected of having shot the 23-year-old student.

The DIG said the man arrested was Mashal's class fellow and a student in the university's journalism department.

He added that the pistol with which Imran shot Mashal had also been recovered.

"During the initial investigation and interrogation that we conducted, he [Imran] accepted his crime," Shinwari added.

The DIG said the police are "investigating the case from every aspect," adding that members of the Supreme Court-ordered Joint Investigation Team (JIT) probing the incident had visited the university campus and met with administrative staff there.

Members of the JIT had also interviewed those accused in the case, Shinwari added.

Earlier today, Additional Advocate General (AAG) Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Waqar Ahmed had told the Supreme Court that the shooter in the case had been identified but remained at large.

A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar was informed by the AAG KP that the person who shot at Mashal thrice has yet to be arrested. Police found three bullet casings from the scene of the crime, he added.

The lawyer submitted a report detailing that a total of 36 accused, including nine university staffers, had been arrested in connection with the case, six of whom have confessed to involvement in Mashal's murder before a magistrate under Section 164 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.

The main accused in the case, Bilal Baksh, a security in-charge at Abdul Wali Khan University, had been taken into custody earlier this week.

The lawyer told the bench that as per the court's instructions, a Joint Investigation Team including representatives from Inter-Services Intelligence, Military Intelligence and Federal Investigation Agency had been set up to probe the lynching.

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