A 23 year old Ahmadi student named Mashal Khan was beaten to death by a viglante mob of colleagues after he was accused of publishing blasphemous content
on-line. Another student named Abdullah was also targeted in the attacked and has thus far survived but is now in critical condition.
After the incident occurred on the premises of Abdul Wali Khan University in Mardan, police were forced to shut down the university campus and
its halls of residence to prevent a further escalation of violence.
Dawn newspapers have said that at least 45 people had been arrested in connection with the incident by Thursday evening, according to Mardan District
Police Officer Dr Mian Saeed.
Police have also stated that there were no investigation into any blasphemy offence by the two students targeted in the attack and that no evidence existed
of any alleged blasphemy. The attack seems to based on mere suspicion and rumour that the two journalism students were promoting the Ahmadi faith.
Mardan's Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of Police Mohammad Alam Shinwari said the deceased student, Mashal, had been accused of running Facebook pages
"which allegedly published blasphemous content".
He was attacked by a large group of students and appears to have succumbed to a gunshot wound, the DIG said.
“The charged students then wanted to burn his body,” Shinwari
said, before police intervened.
Police rescued Abdullah but are being accused of staying back and simply watching as Mashal Khan was slaughtered by the incensed mob. The Police
have said that their were too many people involved in the mob for them to get involved.
59 people have been detained by the police and 6 of 20 suspects arrested after video evidence was used to elucidate the culprits.
Wilson Chowdhry, Chairman of the British Pakistani Christian Association, said:
"This brutal murder that involved colleagues and teaching staff at a University deserves universal condemnation.
"When the elite especially those who are said to be academic resort to basic carnal instinct after an alleged blasphemy, it leaves little confidence about the state of cognizance in Pakistan.
"Moreover the displayed violence illustrates the fundamentalism that has permeated through all layers of Pakistani society, yet Pakistan was not on the Donald Trump proposed list of banned countries for migration?
"The levels of violence we see meted out by average citizens in Pakistan suggests that it is a breeding ground for zealots. Foreign aid continues to pour into the nation but has little effect in curbing the extremism that Pakistan now exports globally."