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Monday Mar 19 2018

Mashal lynching case: Absconder Sabir Mayar surrenders to Mardan police

PESHAWAR: One of the two remaining absconders in the Mashal Khan lynching case, Sabir Mayar, handed himself over to the police on Monday.

According to Mardan District Police Officer Dr Mian Saeed, the search for the third absconder is under way.

Mayar, who was the president of Pakhtun Student Federation, is said to be the one who hatched the plan for Mashal’s murder as he was threatened by the latter’s stance against his activities at Abdul Wali Khan University, Mardan.

However, following Mashal’s murder, him and two others, had run away.

Mohammad Arif Khan, a tehsil councillor from Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf and one of the three absconders, was arrested earlier this month.

The punishment for the rest of the 57 accused who were arrested was announced by an anti-terrorism court in Haripur on February 7.

According to the verdict, one person was awarded death sentence, five life imprisonment, 25 were jailed for four years each, while 26 were acquitted over lack of evidence.

The 26 suspects released by the court received a 'hero's welcome' in their native towns of Swabi and Mardan after their release.

Later, Mashal’s family challenged their acquittal as did the provincial government.

On February 27, the Peshawar High Court ordered the release on bail of the 25 accused who had been awarded three to four-year sentences in the case.

The 25 accused had pleaded that there was a provision in the law under which those sentenced to less than five years in jail could be released on bail while their appeal was being heard.

Mashal was brutally beaten and shot dead at the Abdul Wali Khan University, Mardan over allegations of blasphemy in April 2017. 

The allegations were later proved to be false by a joint investigation team.