At a time when protests against Mashal Khan’s brutal murder are taking place across the country, a group of clerics has called all the suspects arrested in Mashal’s lynching ‘innocent’ and demanded their release.
The Muttahida Ulema Council (MUC) held a rally near the district administration’s office in Mardan on Friday following Friday prayers to demand the release of all suspects currently in police custody.
Mashal, a 23-year-old student of Abdul Wali Khan University Mardan, was lynched and shot on April 13 on the university campus by a mob of fellow students following an accusation of blasphemy.
Leaders of several political parties, except Awami National Party, attended the rally. Senior members of the council including former Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (KP) assembly speaker Ikramullah Shahid, former MPA Maulana Amanat Shah, Pakistan Muslim League’s Inayat Shah Bacha, and Jamaat-e-Islami’s Attaur Rehman, participated in the rally.
They claim that the murder suspects were true Muslims for ‘fulfilling their religious duties’, and demanded that they be set free.
The rally began at Pakistan Square and participants urged traders to show their love for the Holy Prophet (PBUH) by shutting their shops and joining the march. Within 10 minutes all major markets were closed and shopkeepers were seen joining in.