The provincial government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa will include in the fourth schedule of the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA) names of those who made speeches and victory signs during the brutal murder of Mashal Khan at the Abdul Wali Khan University (AWKU) of Mardan district in April last year.
The Home Affairs secretary informed the Standing Committee of the National Assembly on Human Rights during a briefing held here on Friday. The panel was discussing issues related to murder of Mashal Khan particularly the steps authorities had taken against the culprits and those who were involved in the tragic incident.
Some of the committee members asked the provincial officials as to why all those who delivered speeches and made victory signs after the brutal murder of the Mass Communication student were not arrested. The secretary said that there was no point in arresting such people because they might obtain bail from the court easily.
“Instead their names will be placed on the fourth schedule,” he said. The fourth schedule is a section of the ATA under which people suspected of terrorism might be kept under observation. Such people have to report to the local police regularly.
Mashal Khan was brutally murdered in April 2017 by his fellow students who first accused him of committing ‘blasphemy.’ In February, an Anti-Terrorism Court in Haripur sentenced one man to death and handed life terms to five others. As many as 25 were given lesser sentences while 26 persons were acquitted because of lack of evidence.
The vice chancellor of the university also informed the panel that many administrative changes were brought following the Mashal murder. He said that the security arrangements had also been improved at the campus. However, he said that those students and staff of the university who were acquitted by the court could not be expelled from the institution.