MARDAN: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) police on Thursday arrested Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) councillor Mohammad Arif, one of the main accused in the lynching case of Mashal Khan.
Mardan District Police Officer (DPO) Mian Saeed confirmed Arif’s arrest, saying that the police arrested him from near the Chamtar Union Council of the Mardan district.
PTI Chairman Imran Khan took to Twitter to praise the act of KP police. He said, “I want to commend the KP police for succeeding in arresting the main accused in the Mashal Khan murder case, Arif Rangi, a PTI councillor.”
“This is how a professional and depoliticised police force works, in contrast to the politicised police forces of Punjab and Sindh,” he added.
I want to commend the KP police for succeeding in arresting the main accused in the Mashal Khan murder case, Arif Rangi, a PTI councillor. This is how a professional and depoliticised police force works, in contrast to the politicised police forces of Punjab and Sindh.
— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) March 8, 2018
In February, an anti-terrorism court (ATC) convicted 31 out of 57 suspects in the Mashal Khan lynching case; however, the parents of the brutally murdered student protested the acquittal of the other 26 suspects, saying the verdict had delivered “incomplete justice”.
Mashal Khan’s father Muhammad Iqbal Khan had submitted additional appeals against the decision of (ATC) in the Peshawar high court (PHC) in which he challenged the acquittal of 26 accused. The appeals also called for the conviction and punishment of 25 persons, who were given four years of punishment.
It was reported on February 21 that three suspects, including the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) councillor, were on the run. Out of the total 61 accused in the case, 57 were tried in the ATC, out of which 26 were acquitted. Another prime suspect, Izharullah aka Johnny, was arrested by the KP police in January 2018, taking the tally to 58.
In April last year, Mashal Khan, 23, a student at Mardan’s Abdul Wali Khan University was lynched by a mob, allegedly comprising his fellow students riled up by allegations of blasphemy against the young man. The event had shaken the nation, with a large number of people coming out on roads against the grisly murder, and a video footage of the incident making rounds on mainstream and social media.