Shooter Im­ran Ali sen­tenced to death, 5 given life im­pris­on­ment

The Pak Banker - - FRONT PAGE - HARIPUR -APP

A Haripur Anti-Ter­ror­ism Court (ATC) an­nounced its ver­dict in the Mashal Khan lynch­ing case on Wed­nes­day, hand­ing one per­son to death sen­tences, five per­sons mul­ti­ple terms of life im­pris­on­ment, and 25 oth­ers jail sen­tences, but ac­quit­ting 26 oth­ers for want of suf­fi­cient ev­i­dence.

Mashal Khan, 23, a stu­dent of Mass Com­mu­ni­ca­tions at Mar­dan's Ab­dul Wali Khan Univer­sity, was beaten and shot to death by an an­gry mob on April 13, 2017, af­ter he was ac­cused of blas­phemy.

The lynch­ing took place within the premises of the univer­sity and was caught on video which later cir­cu­lated on so­cial me­dia. The hor­rific in­ci­dent shocked the na­tion and sparked a de­bate over the mis­use of the blas­phemy laws in Pak­istan.

Of the to­tal 61 sus­pected of in­volve­ment in the lynch­ing ? the ma­jor­ity of them stu­dents and univer­sity em­ploy­ees and a tehsil coun­cil­lor be­long­ing to the Pak­istan Tehreek-iIn­saf (PTI) ? charged in the first in­for­ma­tion re­port, 57 had been ar­rested within a few days of the in­ci­dent.

A 58th sus­pect who was ar­rested in Jan 2018 has yet to be charged. Prime ac­cused Im­ran Ali, who had ear­lier con­fessed to shoot­ing Mashal be­fore a ju­di­cial mag­is­trate, was sen­tenced on two counts to death by hang­ing. He was handed a death sen­tence un­der Sec­tion 302(b) of the Pak­istan Pe­nal Code (PPC), and another death sen­tence along with a Rs100,000 fine un­der Sec­tion 7(1)(a) of the Anti Ter­ror­ism Act.

Separately, he was awarded five years of rig­or­ous im­pris­on­ment un­der Sec­tion 15 AA-KPK, along with a fine of Rs50,000. Bi­lal Bakhsh, Fazal-i- Raziq, Mu­jee­bul­lah, Ish­faq Khan and Mu­das­sir Bashir are the five ac­cused handed mul­ti­ple life sen­tences.

Raziq, Mu­jeeb, Ish­faq were each given four sen­tences com­pris­ing life im­pris­on­ment un­der Sec­tions 302(b), 148 and 149 of the PPC; life im­pris­on­ment un­der Sec­tion 7(1)(a) ATA with a Rs100,000 fine; one year in jail and a Rs50,000 fine; three years of rig­or­ous im­pris­on­ment and a Rs50,000 fine.

Bakhsh and Bashir were each given five sen­tences com­pris­ing: life im­pris­on­ment un­der Sec­tion 302(b) read with Sec­tions 148 and 149 of the PPC; life im­pris­on­ment and a Rs50,000 fine un­der Sec­tion 7(a) of the ATA; life im­pris­on­ment and a Rs50,000 fine un­der Sec­tion 120(b); three years of rig­or­ous im­pris­on­ment and a Rs50,000 fine un­der Sec­tion 11WW of the ATA; and one year of rig­or­ous im­pris­on­ment and a Rs50,000 fine un­der Sec­tion 297 of the PPC.

Twenty five con­victs were each given two con­cur­rent sen­tences; three years in jail un­der Sec­tions 297 read with Sec­tions 148 and 149 of the PPC along with a Rs50,000 fine; and one year in jail un­der Sec­tion 11-WW ATA along with a fine of Rs50,000.

All sen­tences are con­cur­rent, which means that the long­est sen­tence will be the max­i­mum time pe­riod of im­pris­on­ment. In case of non-pay­ment of fine un­der any of the sen­tences, six months will be added to the sen­tence.

ATC Judge Fazal Khan Sub­han, who read out the ver­dicts against each of the 57 ac­cused pre­sented be­fore the court, also said that re­lief un­der Sec­tion 382(B) of the Crim­i­nal Pro­ce­dures Code would be ex­tended to the con­victs, which means the length of the im­pris­on­ment sen­tences shall be treated as hav­ing been served for the pe­riod for which the ac­cused have al­ready been in cus­tody.

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