An anti-terrorism court in Abbotabad on Wednesday awarded death sentence to one, 25 years imprisonment to five and four years to 25 others for killing a 23-year-old mass communication student in Pakistan’s Mardan district in April 2017. The court has let go off 26 students for lack of evidence, reported Dawn.
Mashal Khan was killed on the basis of false charges of blasphemy. A group of students in Abdul Wali Khan University had attacked Khan and his friend Abdullah on April 13, 2017 for allegedly promoting the Ahmadi faith on social media.
The capital punishment has been awarded to prime accused Imran Sultan. The Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa provincial government said it will appeal against the acquittal of accused. “We will also file an appeal for extreme punishment of those already awarded [life imprisonment],” said the Home Department, according to The Express Tribune.
Khan’s mother called it a “pre-mediated murder,” and said she was unhappy that 26 students have been acquitted. “They all had come to kill him, then why are some of them set free?” asked Khan’s mother.