- Incontrollable crowd try to set victim’s body on fire
- DIG Shinwari, nazim see ‘blasphemy’ behind killing
- Victim stripped naked, beaten to death with planks
A student of a Journalism Department of the Abdul Wali Khan University in Mardan district was shot dead and another was injured by fellows on charges of ‘blasphemes’ or ‘unacceptable’ remarks, according to officials and police on Thursday.
The situation at the university campus is stated tense whereas some unruly students demanding release of those who were detained for interrogation. According to eye witnesses, Abdullah Khan and Mashaal Khan – the two students – were under accusation of ‘blasphemous’ remarks by other fellow students from the last several days.
Mashaal was inside in his hostel room when Abdullah was caught by other students inside the department. He was forced to clarify his faith in Islam by reciting verses from the Holy Quran time and again. During this time, he was brutally beaten away by other students. On a report, the personnel have dispersed the students from the department but they proceeded towards hostel whereas Mashaal was present.
In the presence of the university administration and police personnel, Mashaal was brutally beaten by the student mob and later he succumbed to injuries. During this time, some of the students have also made attempt to set the body of the victim on fire but this effort was foiled by the university administration with the help of a police squad.
A group of about 10 students shouted slogans during the attack on fellow student, who was stripped naked and beaten with planks until his skull caved in as other students looked on, video showed. Quoting police, a foreign news agency reported that at least 10 students have been arrested after the attack.
Some officials said that a mob of around three thousand people including the university students have attacked both Mashaal and Abdullah. Later, the body of the victim and injured Abdullah were shifted amidst tight security to a nearby hospital.
Talking to this correspondent, Deputy Inspector General of Mardan Police Mohammad Alam Khan Shinwari and District Nazim Himayatullah Mayar said that the deceased was charged for ‘blasphemes’ remarks. DIG Shinwari said that the body shifted to a hospital whereas effort for the arrest of assailants was continue. However, Nazim Mayar said that some students have been detained for interrogation.
Mashaal – the deceased student of fourth semester – was belong to Swabi and also graduated from abroad. Both Mashaal and Abdullah have been charged for preaching norms and beliefs of Ahmadiyya community. After the incident, the administration announced closure of the university till indefinite period. All hostels have also been vacated whereas a large number of the students managed in departure to their homes.
It was unclear exactly what online posting had prompted the blasphemy accusation against the victim, who was studying journalism. One of the victim’s teachers recalled that he was a passionate and critical student. “He was brilliant and inquisitive, always complaining about the political system of the country, but I never heard him saying anything controversial against the religion,” the teacher said.
— Inputs from other news sources also added in this report