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Mashal family moves PHC against acquittal of 26 accused.

PESHAWAR -- The Mashal Khan family yesterday moved the Peshawar High Court, challenging the Haripur Anti-Terrorism Court's decision of acquitting 26 accused in the lynching case.

The appeal was filed through lawyers, including Muhammad Ayaz Khan, Barrister Ameerullah Khan Chamkani, Fazal Khan and Shahabuddin Khattak. In the appeal, all the 26 acquitted accused and the state have been made respondents.

In the appeal, Aimal Khan, brother of Mashal Khan, prayed to the court to set aside the ATC decision and award capital punishment to the 26 accused as substantial evidence existed against them.

The appeal said the acquitted accused were part of the mob inside the Abdul Wali Khan University, Mardan, with the common objective to kill Mashal .

It was contended in the appeal that the trial court had admitted in the judgment that all the accused facing the trial were present at the time of the incident, so all the accused were responsible for the killing and should have been convicted equally as per the charges levelled against them.

The offences with which the respondents along with other convicts were charged are not only heinous and brutal in nature, but also against the humanity and the society, so their acquittal would be against the norms of Islam, the appellant claimed.

Furthermore, it was stated that acquittal of the respondents was also against the golden principles of Qisas. 'Such offences are restricted through capital punishment to set an example for the future of the society, so no lenient view in the shape of acquittal should be taken,' the appeal stated.

'There is also a sufficient evidence in the shape of circumstantial and ocular as well as medical evidence to connect the respondents to the charges levelled against them, hence the order/judgment related to the respondents is liable to be set aside. The acquitted accused can be seen in the video of Mashal's lynching, so all the respondents/accused should be awarded capital punishment,' the appellant prayed to the high court.

Mashal Khan, 23, a student of Mass Communication Department of Abdul Wali Khan University, Mardan, was beaten up and shot dead by an angry mob on April 13, 2017, over the alleged blasphemy.

On February 7, the ATC sentenced the prime accused, Imran Ali, to death, awarded jail sentence to 30 people and acquitted 26 others.

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Publication:The Nation (Karachi, Pakistan)
Date:Feb 15, 2018
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