MARDAN - Activists of Pakhtun Students’ Federation in Abdul Wali Khan University have launched a campaign on social media for release of their fellows arrested in Mashal Khan murder case.

The PkSF activists have also criticised report of joint investigation team (JIT) formed by Supreme Court to probe into the case.

Mashal Khan was a student of Abdul Wali Khan University, Mardan, who was lynched on April 13 by a mob of fellow students, university employees and outsiders for having allegedly committed blasphemy. However, initial police investigation and the JIT report revealed that the allegations could not be substantiated.

The JIT report also exposed alleged incompetence of the university administration, failure of the police and presence of criminals in the ranks of the PkSF. The JIT in its report had clearly mentioned that scores of employees of the university had criminal record.

The report recommended strict departmental action against AWKUM Registrar Sher Alam Khan, Director Administration Pir Asfandyar, Security Officer Himayatullah Afridi, Provost Fayaz Ali Shah, Chief Proctor Idress, Director Sports Farooq Khan and Assistant Registrar Humayun for their incompetence. The report also called for scrutinising record of all the employees.

Sources in the university said that a lot of irregularities were also committed in admission procedure, especially in the Journalism and Mass Communication Department in the first batch. The sources added that administration of the same department gave admission to government officials without any No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the parent department and also violated merit in the admission procedure. Source added that the government employees also got admission in the same department through fake documents in connivance with the department administration.

After passage of several days of the incident of Mashal Khan murder, the provincial government on demand of local administration appointed Dr Jahanzeb Khalil as pro-vice chancellor of the university. Sources in the university said that the government had given task to the pro VC to strictly act on the recommendations of the JIT report.

However, after his appointment, Dr Jahanzeb made a few transfers and adjustments in the administration and has not fully acted upon the JIT recommendations so far. It may be noted that the JIT had also raised question on police officials’ role during the incident and had suggested departmental inquiry against the police officers but police high-ups did not take any action in this connection.

The local police have identified 60 suspects in the case through video footages surfaced on social media after the incident and have so far arrested 57 of the suspects, while three suspects including PTI councillor Arif Khan and PSF activists Sabirullah Mayar and Asad Katlang are still at large.

On the other hand, activists of the PkSF have started a campaign on social media, strongly criticising JIT report and terming the same as one sided. They also alleged that the JIT report was prepared on directions of the provincial government to defame PkSF.

They also claimed in their social media posts that the report was not implemented as yet. The students said that the main cause of Mashal Khan murder was corrupt university administration according to the JIT report but no action was taken in this connection. They added that no action was taken against the police officers who were present during the incident and did not take action to save the life of Mashal Khan which was their responsibility.

They also added that several suspects in Mashal Khan murder case were beaten up and tortured during the investigation of the case by the JIT members for getting statements. They also added that Sabirullah Mayar was not present in the university during the incident but he was also declared accused in the case by the JIT which, they said, was a total injustice. The students added in their posts that from the last several weeks, innocent students were lying in the prison.

They demanded that the arrested students should be released on bail because their parents were in great panic and torture.