ABBOTTABAD: The Peshawar High Court (PHC) circuit bench in Abbottabad on Tuesday suspended the sentence of 25 suspects in the Mashal Khan lynching case and released them on bail.
This was announced by a two-judge bench on appeals filed by the suspects who were awarded three years of jail term in the case by an anti-terrorism court.
On February 8, an anti-terrorism court in Haripur jail had given the verdict in Mashal Khan lynching case, under which one person was given the death sentence, five persons were given multiple terms of life imprisonment, and 25 others received jail sentences. The court also acquitted 26 people in the case.
On April 13, 2017, Mashal Khan, 23, a student at the Abdul Wali Khan University, Mardan was lynched by a mob, allegedly comprising of his fellow students riled up by allegations of blasphemy against the young man. As details of this bone-chilling event, including a video recording of the event, were reported, a different picture started to emerge— one that had nothing to do with blasphemy.
It is pertinent to note here that the joint investigation team (JIT) tasked by the court with probing the murder of Mashal Khan also found the student had not committed blasphemy. The JIT in its report stated that a group in the university had incited a mob against the 23-year-old on the pretext of blasphemy.