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March 9, 2018

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Main accused in Mashal murder case arrested

MARDAN: The police arrested the main accused in the Mashal murder case here on Thursday, an official said.

Muhammad Arif, tehsil councilor belonging to Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), was arrested from the Ring Road in the jurisdiction of the Saddar Police Station, said, DSP Mardan City, Ihteraz Khan.

Muhammad Arif had been declared an absconder. The sources said the accused had returned from Turkey recently. The official added that two accused, Sabirullah Mayar and Asad Katlang, were still at large.

It may be noted here that on April 13, 2017, a mob of students, employees of Abdul Wali Khan University, Mardan and some outsiders lynched Mashal Khan, a student of Journalism and Mass Communication Department, after accusing him of committing blasphemy.

An anti-terrorism court in Haripur jail announced the verdict in Mashal lynching case on February 7. The court awarded death sentence to one accused identified as Imran, two-time life imprisonment (50 years) to three accused including Fazle Raziq, Mujeebullah and Ashfaq Khan.

The ATC judge also awarded three-time life imprisonment (75 years) to two accused, Mudassir Bashir and Bilal Bakhsh, and four-year sentence to 25 accused. The court acquitted 26 of the accused in the case with observation that the prosecution had not been able to prove their involvement in any act of violence or aggression. However, the Peshawar High Court (PHC) on February 27 suspended the four-year sentence of 25 accused and granted bail to them.

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