Sabir Mayar, a suspect who was declared a proclaimed offender by an anti-terrorism court in the Mashal Khan murder case, surrendered before Mardan police on Monday.
Mayar presented himself before the police on Monday after absconding for nearly 11 months, District Police Officer (DPO) Mian Saeed told media. A joint investigation team (JIT) formed to probe Mashal’s murder had said in its report that Mayar, who was the president of the Pakhtun Students Federation (PSF), had allegedly planned Mashal’s murder over blasphemy allegations in connivance with others.
According to DPO Saeed, police had conducted many raids to arrest Mayar, but remained unsuccessful in its attempts. The accused has now been taken into police custody. With Mayar’s surrender, 60 of the 61 suspects nominated in the case have been arrested including Arif Khan, a primary suspect and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) tehsil councillor who was arrested earlier this month.
Only one nominated suspect, Asad Katlang — a university employee — remains to be arrested in the murder case. DPO Saeed said the absconding suspect will be apprehended soon. Mashal, a student of mass communication at Mardan’s Abdul Wali Khan University (AWKU), was lynched by a mob of students, university staff and outsiders on April 13 last year after he was wrongly alleged to have committed blasphemy.
An Abbottabad ATC last month sentenced the man who shot Mashal, Imran Ali, death sentence on two counts. Five other accused were given multiple terms of life imprisonment, and 25 were handed down jail sentences.