Published On: Wed, Feb 14th, 2018

Mashal’s brother challenges acquittal of 26 accused by ATC

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PESHAWAR: The brother of Mashal Khan, who was lynched on the false pretext of blasphemy last year, has challenged the acquittal of 26 accused who were released by the trial court last week.

Aimal Khan, Mashal’s brother, filed an appeal in the Peshawar High Court on Tuesday against the decision of the anti-terrorism court in Haripur, which awarded on February 7 death sentence to one, life-imprisonment to five, four-year imprisonment to 25 and acquitted the remaining 26 accused for lack of evidence. The petitioner has expressed reservations over the anti-terrorism court’s verdict, stating those who have been acquitted can be seen in the video of the incident, when Mashal was being tortured to death.

Therefore, the petitioner has requested the court to arrest the 26 accused and re-hear the case against them.

Mashal was brutally beaten and shot dead at the Abdul Wali Khan University Mardan over allegations of blasphemy in April 2017, after which a 13-member joint investigation team (JIT) was formed to probe the case.

The JIT revealed in its report in June 2017 that members of the Pakhtoon Students Federation, the student wing of the Awami National Party, incited the mob to kill Mashal on the pretext of blasphemy.

The report stated the murder was premeditated as the group was threatened by Mashal’s activities because he would raise his voice against irregularities at his university.

The 26 accused released by the court last week received a ‘hero’s welcome’ in their native town of Swabi and Mardan. –Agencies


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