A district and sessions court in Peshawar on Friday handed the death sentence to the main accused in the murder case of Asma Rani — more than three years after her killing — and acquitted two others.

District and Sessions judge Ashfaq Taj announced the verdict inside the Peshawar Central Jail due to security reasons where the prime accused, Mujahid Afridi, was present. His brother Sadiqullah Afridi and another accomplice Shahzeb were acquitted.

In his verdict, the judge declared Mujahid guilty of murder and imposed a fine of Rs0.3 million. He also directed him to pay Rs2 million as compensation.

The victim's family welcomed the verdict, stating that they had waited for justice for almost three-and-a-half years.

"When our sister was killed, we were completely broken and crying out for justice. Today, we are satisfied," said Asma's older brother Muhammad Imran. He also thanked the judiciary, the police and the government.

The deceased was a third-year medical student and was shot dead in Kohat in January 2018 for turning down a marriage proposal.

According to police, Asma was visiting her family during a session break when Mujahid along with Sadiqullah opened fire on her after she turned down his marriage proposal, fleeing the crime scene soon after. The victim had received three bullets and was rushed to a nearby hospital, where she identified Mujahid as the assailant before succumbing to her injuries.

He had then fled to the United Arab Emirates and was arrested after Interpol issued red notices on the request of the Pakistani government. He was brought back to Pakistan in March 2018.

In April 2018, the Peshawar High Court had directed to transfer the case to Peshawar from Kohat on an application filed by Asma’s brother. He had claimed that the accused belonged to influential family of Kohat and it was impossible for the petitioner and his family to pursue the case there.

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