On 13th April 2017, an angry mob shot and brutally killed 23-year-old Mashal Khan at Abdul Wali Khan University, Mardan. About 57 individuals were arrested and presented before an anti-terrorist court in Haripur over their involvement in the student’s murder.
After the passage of almost a year, today, a verdict in this case has been announced by Justice Fazal-e-Subhan Khan at Haripur Central Jail.
According to the verdict, the prime suspect involved in the murder of Mashal, Imran Ali, has been given the death sentence. 5 of his accomplices have been jailed for 25 years each. Another 25 have been jailed for four years each while 26 individuals haven been cleared of the case without any punishment.
The defence lawyers say that the verdict of the court will be challenged on Thursday.
Over on social media, many people reacted as the judgement become official. Some were satisfied with the proceedings of the case, while others were dismayed for various reasons.
Here’s how Pakistani Twitter users responded to the court’s judgement:
Imran Khan, whose party rules KPK, had this to say about the judgement:
After court verdict on Mashal case, KP police has once again shown it's professionalism by bringing a murderous mob under the ambit of the law. This is the first time in Pakistan where police has been successful in bringing the main accused plus other mob mbrs to justice.
— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) February 7, 2018
An Indian citizen also compared the Mashal case verdict with another case where justice was not done:
In Secular India, Akhlaq's killers got a de facto state funeral.
In Islamic Pakistan, Mashal's killers get a death sentence.
Hindu liberals love asking "do we want to become like Pakistan?" https://t.co/FksL6Q9fIr
— omer khan (@timesn0w) February 7, 2018
Mashal’s brother had this to say about the court’s verdict:
Aimal Iqbal, brother of #MashalKhan reacts to court decision. “The decision once again proves Mashal was innocent, we welcome the punishments & will consult with the leagal team about those who got acquitted”. #Blasphemy pic.twitter.com/RbLXO1Wxrd
— VOA DEEWA (@voadeewa) February 7, 2018
Justice has finally been done.
— Mmmm… (@Waqas_amjad) February 7, 2018
Many media personalities tweeted the summary of the sentence, while also mentioning that the press was not allowed during the hearings:
#MashalKhan case verdict; Reportedly, one sentenced to death, 5 sentenced to 25/25 years imprisonment, 26 released. Media kept out of the judgement hearing.
— Asma Shirazi (@asmashirazi) February 7, 2018
Some were not satisfied with the decision of the court:
— Faisal (@faisaltanoli59) February 7, 2018
Others were happy that this case was finally given the attention it deserved:
— S_Pearl_K (@sskssk2014) February 7, 2018
People were satisfied that at least one case got resolved. Other cases however, are still pending:
— اپھلا تون (@DrArshii) February 7, 2018
Does he have a point?
— Muhabat Khan Tareen (@MuhabatKhan) February 7, 2018
Lets see what happens once the case moves forward with the appeals:
That's something to be appreciated but 26 released suspects should also be given exemplary punishment. KP govt decided to appeal against the released suspects. Anxiously waiting for the further development. #Mashalkhan https://t.co/oKFl9FXO2i
— ufaq nazir (@ufaqnazir10) February 7, 2018
The case is not finished yet, and the KPK government intends to appeal against the release of 25/26 individuals:
Social media erupts in strong public reaction against acquittal of 26 in #MashalKhan case while demanding punishment for all those involved in lynching of the student
Decision of KP Govt to file an appeal against acquittal is positive
— Shafek Koreshe (@shafeKoreshe) February 7, 2018
Mashal’s brother hopes that nothing like what happened to his brother, happens to anyone:
— ARY Videos (@ARYVideos) February 7, 2018
It is indeed the first time that a complete mob of people has been brought under the court of law for taking the law into their own hands. The judgement was indeed a step in the right direction but we will have to wait and see if any other mobsters will come under the rule of law after the defendants appeals against the current decision.
Are you satisfied with the court’s judgment? Let us know in the comments below.