PESHAWAR: The Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) Peshawar, has reserved a verdict in Mashal Khan lynching case which it will reveal on the 16th of March.
The current case pertains to the four suspects that were absconding from court during the first trial.
Case proceedings started on June 21, 2018 once the absconding suspects surrendered themselves to the ATC. The judgment was passed on Tuesday by ATC-3 Judge Mahmood-ul-Hassan Khattak after 47 witnesses- including Mashal Khan’s father- recorded their statements and both sides presented their arguments.
A total of 61 people were suspected of involvement in the lynching ─ the majority of the students, university employees and a tehsil councillor belonging to the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) ─ were charged in the first information report. Out of these, 57 were sentenced by a court on February 7, 2018.
On February 7, 2018 ATC Haripur awarded a death sentence to the primary perpetrator Imran- who had confessed to shooting Mashal before a judicial magistrate. The court also sentenced 5 suspects to life in imprisonment and 25 others were jailed for four years each. Imran was handed a death sentence under Section 302(b) of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC), and another death sentence along with a fine of Rs100, 000 under Section 7(1) (a) of the Anti-Terrorism Act.
Mashal, 23, was a student of mass communications in Abdul Wali Khan University (AWKU) in Mardan. On April 13 2017, He was beaten and shot to death by an anarchic mob instigated and fired up by rumours that he had committed blasphemy by posting sacrilegious content online.
The government’s lawyer in the case, Barrister Amirullah Chamkani, expressed hope that the court would award the maximum amount of punishment to the accused men in order to make an example out of them.