PESHAWAR - An anti-terrorism court on Saturday delayed the verdict of Mashal Khan’s lynching case till March 21.

All the four suspects Asad Katling, Sabir Mayar, Arif Khan Mardanvi and Izharullah, who were absconding from court during the first trial, were produced before the court amid tight security. However, the verdict, which was reserved on March 12 and was to be announced on Saturday (March 16), was delayed till March 21.

Mashal Khan, 23, a student of Mass Communication Department of Abdul Wali Khan University Mardan, was lynched on April 13, 2017, by a mob allegedly for committing blasphemy. After Mashal’s murder, the then chief justice took notice and ordered a judicial inquiry. For this purpose, a joint investigation team (JIT) was formed to investigate the gruesome murder.  In this case, a total of 61 people suspected of involvement in Mashal lynching were charged in the First Information Report. Out of them, 57 were sentenced by a court on February 7, 2018. Majority of them were students and university employees and a councillor. However, case proceedings started on June 21, 2018 once the absconding suspects surrendered themselves to the court of law. Both the sides have concluded their arguments on March 12 last and the verdict was reserved by ATC court which was to be announced on March 16, however, it was delayed and be announced on coming March 21.