MARDAN -  Syed Kamal Shah, a prominent social activist and head of local peace committee, Aman Jirga, on Tuesday expressed serious concerns over reopening of Abdul Wali Khan University before Supreme Court’s verdict in Mashal murder case.

Mashal Khan, a student of the Abdul Wali Khan University, Mardan (AWKUM) was lynched by a mob of fellow students, university employees and outsiders for allegedly having committed blasphemy. Police, however, said after initial investigation that the charge was not substantiated.

The police have so far arrested 48 out of the 49 suspects in the case identified through the various video footages surfaced after the incident. Arif, a councillor belonging to the ruling coalition leader Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), is still at large. It is believed that the suspect has fled to Thailand but the police claim he would soon be brought to the justice.

In a statement, the peace activist said that the Supreme Court had taken timely action in the case. Shah said that the incident had brought bad name for the country. He alleged that AWKUM administration was involved in corruption and violation of merit.

He added that teachers who were teaching in primary schools were appointed against BPS-18 and 19 in the university. He further alleged that certain employees of the university had accumulated wealth beyond their know sources of income while some junior-level employees had criminal record.

Shah appealed to the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (KP) government, Supreme Court and other concern institutions to conduct an inquiry into the alleged financial irregularities, violation of merit as well as use of narcotics in the university.

Ever since the incidence, a number of people across the country have been actively taking up the issue through social media to press for early justice for the bereaved family. Also, local and national level social activists, organisations and members of the Awami National Party (ANP) have been lobbying for the same purpose. It is pertinent to mention here that certain elements in the ANP are also accused of conspiring the lynching.

The activists are also calling for a thorough probe into the alleged irregularities in the university as well the reported indifference of Mardan police, or their inability to have controlled the situation. The policemen were also seen in some videos acting as silent spectators, while a deputy superintendent of police was also spotted in one of the mob gatherings prior to the incident. 

Shah demanded that the university administration should also be included in the investigation of the case. He alleged that certain acts of the university administration provoked the mob.

Shah warned that if the university administration was not included in the investigation, then the Aman Jirga would take out protest rallies outside Governor House and Chief Minister House in Peshawar.