Pakistan university closes after journalism student lynched for ‘blasphemy’
A university in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province was closed until further notice after a journalism student was killed by his peers for allegedly sharing blasphemous content online and promoting the Ahmadi faith.
Mashal Khan, believed to be in his early twenties, was attacked and shot in the head by fellow students at the Abdul Wali Khan University in Mardan in broad daylight on Thursday.
The mob continued to attack his body till a contingent of police arrived to take custody of it.
This is the first such incident at a university campus in Pakistan.
Khan, a resident of Swabi, was a student at the university’s journalism and mass communication department.
Mardan DSP Sheikh Maltun Mardan Haider Khan confirmed that the victim had been murdered by his fellow students but it is not clear what had enraged them.
Five students were injured in clashes but police managed to bring the situation under control.
Police later confirmed that arrests have been made and an investigation is already under way.
A notification issued by the police stated that 59 people were arrested from the university for their suspected involvement in the lynching.
Further arrests will be made after the police identify other members of the mob, a police official said.
Khan’s body was shifted to District Headquarters Hospital for autopsy and taken to Swabi for burial on Friday.
Following the incident, AWKU Assistant Registrar Ashoor Khan issued a notification stating the university will be closed until further notice.