MARDAN, 12 March: A local court on Monday sent one of the prime accused in Mashal Khan’s murder case, Muhammad Arif to jail on 14-day judicial remand after he denied the allegations in the court.
The accused, Muhammad Arif, who is also a PTI tehsil councilor, was produced in the court of senior civil judge Asim Riaz on completion of his three-day physical remand. While recording his statement, he denied the allegations of taking part in the murder of Mashal Khan, a student of the Abdul Wali Khan University, Mardan.
Arif was arrested by police on March 8 after remaining absconder for about one year. He produced before a local court on March 9, which remanded him in police custody for three days.
Police had nominated 61 people in the lynching of Mashal Khan, who was killed on charges of committing blasphemy. As many as 57 accused were arrested by police including students and employees of the university. Another accused, Izhar was arrested in January while Arif was rounded up in March. Two accused are still at large.
The arrested 57 people were tried in an anti-terrorism court in Haripur. The court after completing the trial in the case, awarded death sentence to one, Imran, life term imprisonment to five accused and four years imprisonment each to other 25 accused. The court had acquitted 26 accused in the case.
Later, a high court bench suspended the conviction of the 25 accused who were sentenced to four years jail and released them on bail. The family of Mashal Khan and the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government had also filed appeals in the Peshawar High Court against the decision of the trial court seeking death sentence to all the accused.