A Ha-ripur Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) yesterday announced its verdict in the Mashal Khan lynching case – handing one person two death sentences, five persons multiple terms of life imprisonment, and 25 others four years in jail, but acquitted 26 others for want of sufficient evidence. All sentences are concurrent, which means that the longest sentence will be the maximum time period of imprisonment.ATC Judge Fazal Khan Subhan read out the verdicts against each of the 57 accused presented before the court. He also said that relief under Section 382(B) would be extended to the convicts, which means the length of the imprisonment sentences shall be treated as having been served for the period for which the accused have already been in custody. Mashal Khan, 23, a student of Mass Communications at Mardan’s Abdul Wali Khan University, was beaten and shot to death by an angry mob on April 13, 2017, after he was accused of blasphemy. The lynching took place within the premises of the university and was caught on video which later circulated on social media. The barbaric incident shocked the nation and sparked a debate over the misuse of the blasphemy laws in Pakistan. Of the total 61 suspected of involvement in the lynching, the majority of them students and university employees and a tehsil councillor belonging to the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI), 57 had been arrested within a few days of the incident. A 58th suspect who was arrested in January 2018 has yet to be charged.
Source: The Dawn
Nayeemul Islam khan
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