ISLAMABAD: A report compiled by a 13-member joint investigation team (JIT) investigating the lynching of Mashal Khan stated that a group in the university incited a mob against the Mardan university student on pretext of blasphemy. It added that no proof was found that Khan had committed blasphemy.
In April, a vigilante mob, incited by rumours attacked Khan for allegedly “publishing blasphemous content online”. The mass communication student was beaten and shot by the mob and succumbed to the injuries he received.
The JIT report acquired by DawnNews said that Khan was murdered in line with a plan allegedly hatched by Sabir Mayar, the president of the Pakhtun Student’s Federation (PSF) and Ajmal, the president of the employees at the Abdul Wali Khan University (AWKU), where Khan was studying Mass Communication.
The report said that during interrogation, Ajmal claimed that Mayar had come into his office one day and said that Mashal “must be removed”. However, the report added, the interrogation did not offer clarity into the meaning of Mayar’s remarks.
According to the report, Mayar viewed Khan’s stance against activities on campus to be a threat to the PSF.
The JIT report said that Khan had been vocal about the rights of students at the university and even challenged the appointment of a new vice chancellor (VC) at the university to ensure that students were able to obtain their degrees, which is not possible without the VC’s signature.
Days before he was lynched by the mob, Khan in an interview to Khyber news channel spoke against activities at the university and the administration, the report said.
The investigation revealed that illegal and criminal activities persisted in the university hostel and female students were also exploited in the university.
In its proceedings, the JIT investigated the role the police played in the incident and in its report, recommended an inquiry to probe the negligence of police officials.
The report added that no evidence regarding allegations of blasphemy against Khan was found during investigation into the student’s murder. -DN