A grade 12 student at a private college in Charsadda shot his college principal dead on Monday after being censured for skipping school to attend the November 2017 sit-in of religio-political parties in Islamabad's Faizabad area.

In a video acquired by DawnNews, the student, while being arrested, appeared to justify the murder saying he believed the college principal had committed blasphemy.

It was not immediately clear what prompted that charge.

"I have been taught... to kill... to not be afraid. Don't be afraid of disrespecting the one who" commits blasphemy, the student can be heard saying in the video in Pashto.

"You can kill me," he tells the arresting officers.

Shabqadar police said the suspect, Faheem, had fired multiple shots at his principal, Sareer, which proved fatal. District Police Officer (DPO) Charsadda Zahoor Afridi confirmed the incident.

The accused in the video seems to accept that he had fired six shots at the principal. "I am not afraid to kill," the student adds.

Police said the principal had earlier expressed his anger at Faheem over his being absent from college for three days.

Sources told DawnNews that the student had been angry that he was marked absent during the days he was attending the Faizabad sit-in.

Blasphemy is a highly sensitive issue in Pakistan, where even unproven allegations can stir mob violence and lynchings.

Last year, a mob in Abdul Wali Khan University Mardan beat up a student, Mashal Khan, to death after accusing him of blasphemy over social media.

The incident caused an outrage across the country, with calls for the blasphemy law to be amended. The investigation into Mashal's murder was concluded after a joint investigation team probing the case cleared the victim of all charges.

At least 65 people have been murdered by vigilantes over blasphemy allegations since 1990.

Opinion

Justice for judges
Updated 30 Jul 2021

Justice for judges

It beggars belief that a senior high court judge is incompetent to serve in the Supreme Court.
Follow the child
30 Jul 2021

Follow the child

Observe the child and give her space to explore her own instincts.
Cost of neoliberalism
30 Jul 2021

Cost of neoliberalism

Our mental health crisis must be seen in the larger sociopolitical context.

Editorial

30 Jul 2021

Judge’s elevation

A CONTROVERSY roiling the legal fraternity for a few weeks has come to a head. It was precipitated by the Judicial...
PTI’s Sialkot win
30 Jul 2021

PTI’s Sialkot win

The PML-N’s internal duality is a particularly acute factor that is dragging down the party in electoral contests.
30 Jul 2021

Attack on Chinese

AN attack targeting two Chinese nationals in Karachi on Wednesday should put the security apparatus on alert in ...
29 Jul 2021

Saudi FM’s visit

THE Saudi-Pakistan relationship is decades old and has weathered a number of geopolitical storms. Of late, ties came...
29 Jul 2021

SBP’s high hopes

THE June spike in the current account deficit notwithstanding, the State Bank doesn’t look too worried about the...
Joy and sadness on K2
Updated 29 Jul 2021

Joy and sadness on K2

Pakistan’s mountains have a commercial value that remains untapped.