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Pakistani student killed over alleged blasphemy

Mashal Khan.  

A mass communication student of a university in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province was tortured and shot dead on Thursday by a mob for allegedly publishing blasphemous content online.

Mashal Khan and his friend Abdullah were attacked in the premises of the Abdul Wali Khan University in Mardan where at least 25 policemen were present. Abdullah is seriously injured.

Mardan’s Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Alam Shinwari said the students were accused of running Facebook pages that published “blasphemous content”. “The students, Mashal Khan and Abdullah, were beaten and tortured by large group of students, and Mashal appears to have succumbed to a gunshot wound,” he said.

The police said they have arrested at least 15 students and teachers of the university in connection with the incident . The campus was shut down after the attack, while the police are looking for more attackers.

According to the police, the mob first surrounded Abdullah and forced him to recite verses from the Quran. They started beating him when he was reciting the verses. Police intervention rescued Abdullah, but the attackers then went to the hostel where Mashal Khan was staying. “Mashal was beaten and shot by the mob who died on the spot,” a police officer stated.

Ahmadiyya ideas

A video footage apparently shot on a mobile phone showed Khan lying on the floor in a pool of blood surrounded by people beating him with sticks.

Media reports quoted unidentified students claiming that several leaders of the university’s student bodies were among the attackers and they claimed Khan was promoting the Ahmadiyya ideas. Ahmadis are considered non-Muslims by many mainstream Muslim groups and have been subjected to persecution and descrimination.

University administration official Fayaz Ali Shah also confirmed that the mob had killed Khan accusing him of blasphemy.

Hostel warden Muhammad Ali told reporters that he closed the gate of the hostel after seeing the mob. “I closed the gates but they broke in, found Mashal and fired at him and started beating him.”

Provincial government has ordered an inquiry into the incident and instructed the police to arrest all the attackers.

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Printable version | Nov 25, 2020 11:44:06 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/pakistani-student-killed-over-alleged-blasphemy/article17992006.ece

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