A file photo of Mashal Khan

HARIPUR, 23 October: The anti-terrorism court on Monday rejected the bail applications of as many as 53 accused persons arrested in Mashal murder case.

The ATC judge Fazal-e-Subhan had reserved judgment in the case after hearing arguments from the applicants’ lawyers and the prosecution.

The court has started regular hearing of the case and so far indicted 57 accused. It had recorded the statements of 15 prosecution witnesses.

The case was previously heard in Mardan but was later transfer to Haripur on the request of Muhammad Iqbal, father of Mashal Khan.

Mashal Khan, a student of Journalism department of the Abdul Wali Khan University, Mardan, was lynched to death by a violent mob after he was accused of committing blasphemy. However, a joint investigation team, constituted by the provincial government, later said that no allegations of blasphemy were proved against Mashal Khan.