Pak­istani po­lice say lynch­ing or­ga­nized by stu­dent’s en­e­mies

The Washington Times Daily - - WORLD -

ISLAMABAD | Pak­istani po­lice say the lynch­ing of a univer­sity stu­dent who was falsely ac­cused of blas­phemy was or­ga­nized by other stu­dents from his own sec­u­lar po­lit­i­cal group who viewed him as a ri­val and fac­ulty mem­bers who re­sented his crit­i­cism of the univer­sity.

The re­port from a po­lice in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the April killing of 23-year-old Mashal Khan, ob­tained by The As­so­ci­ated Press on Sun­day, will be filed in court later this week.

Blas­phemy is pun­ish­able by death in Pak­istan, and the mere ac­cu­sa­tion of in­sult­ing Is­lam or the Prophet Muham­mad can spark deadly mob vi­o­lence. Blas­phemy al­le­ga­tions are of­ten used to set­tle scores.

The po­lice say Khan was seen by oth­ers in his Pash­tun Stu­dent Fed­er­a­tion as a ris­ing star af­ter giv­ing an in­ter­view with lo­cal TV in which he com­plained about ris­ing fees and poor per­for­mance among fac­ulty. He also had or­ga­nized protests, the re­port said.

Dozens of stu­dents and fac­ulty took part in the lynch­ing, which the po­lice re­port said was planned a month ahead of time.

Af­ter the killing, some fac­ulty mem­bers pres­sured stu­dents to sup­port the blas­phemy charges, which were un­founded, the re­port said. It said 57 peo­ple, in­clud­ing 12 univer­sity em­ploy­ees, would face charges in the case.

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