MARDAN -  Police on Thursday requested Federal Investigation Agency to put names of two accused still at large in Mashal murder case on the Exit Control List.

The accused include Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) local bodies’ councillor Arif, who, according to rumours circulating on the social media has either escaped to Thailand or trying to do so. Arif was identified through a video surfaced after the incident in which a mob comprising students and staff members of Abdul Wali Khan University, Mardan (AWKUM), as well as outsiders, lynched Mashal Khan, a student at the department of journalism at the university, for allegedly having committed blasphemy, a charge that was not substantiated during the initial police enquiry.

Arif could be seen in the video calling upon the mob not to disclose the name of the person who shot pistol fires at Mashal, which proved fatal as per the autopsy report. In the video Arif also said that anyone wanting to register a first investigation report (FIR) of the incident should name him in the case.

The other accused still at large is Ali Khan, who is son of Awami National Party (ANP)’s district councillor Sardar Khan, and a resident of Hoti area in Mardan.

However, Mardan Police on Thursday claimed to have arrested Ali Khan as well, though Sardar Khan rejected the claim while talking to The Nation and said that he himself had handed over his son to the police. Mardan police have identified as many as 49 suspects in the case through the various video footages surfaced after the incident on social media. The number of accused held so far stood at 48 after the arrest of Ali Khan. So far, only Arif is at large. The arrested accused are languishing in Mardan’s central jail on judicial remand. Arif was initially thought to have been arrested by the police and some pictures shared on the social media show him behind the bars in lockup at the police station. However, Mardan police said another Arif was held in the case.

Mardan police was directed through a letter by Additional Inspector General of Police (Investigation) for requesting the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) for putting the names of Arif and Sardar Khan on the ECL.


Riaz Khan