Arif Khan, a primary suspect in the lynching of Mardan university student Mashal Khan last year, pleaded not guilty to the charges brought against him by an Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) on Monday. In a video that surfaced after the lynching, Arif was seen warning a crowd to keep the name of the person who shot Mashal a secret.
A Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) tehsil councillor, Arif was arrested last week by a special operations team of police in Mardan. Sources said Arif had escaped to Turkey following the lynching and was arrested once he returned home only recently, 10 months after the April 13 lynching at Mardan’s Abdul Wali Khan University.
The suspect was sent to jail on 14-day judicial remand. Mashal, a student of mass communication, was lynched by a mob of students, university staff and outsiders last year after he was wrongly accused of committing blasphemy.