PESHAWAR – An Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) indicted 57 people in the Mashal Khan lynching case on Tuesday.
The indictment came after the trial amid a tight surveillance by Justice Fazal Subhan who also rejected the bail applications of 17 accused in the case.
The arrested men, who have been named in the case, were presented before the ATC who pleaded not guilty.
From now on, hearings will now take place on a day-to-day basis as the case has been shifted to Central Jail Haripur.
In next hearing, on Wednesday, the prosecution and defence will present their arguments. Mashal’s father Iqbal Khan will also appear before the court in this regard.
Mashal Khan, who was a student of journalism at Abdul Wali Khan University, was lynched by an enraged mob on the university premises for allegedly “publishing blasphemous content online” on April 13.
A report compiled by the 13-member joint investigation team probing the lynching stated that no proof was found that Mashal Khan had committed blasphemy.
In July, Peshawar High Court (PHC) Chief Justice Yahya Afridi had ordered the transfer of the Mashal Khan murder case from Mardan to an Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) in Haripur jail after Khan’s father requested the move fearing “influential adversaries”.
Iqbal in his petition had also requested the PHC to pay his legal fee, and the Supreme Court provide protection to his daughters, who haven’t been to school since Mashal’s murder.