Peshawar [Pakistan]: The Pakistan Police has opened a hate speech investigation against two clerics in connection with the killing of a university student over allegations of blasphemy.
The clerics are accused of attempting to disrupt the funeral of Mashal Khan, a student of Abdul Wali Khan University in Mardan who was killed by a violent mob on campus premises after a dormitory debate followed accusations of blasphemy.
According to the Dawn, the police is investigating the clerics in Mashal’s hometown of Swabi for attempting to disrupt funeral proceedings and instigate hatred against his family.
“The two clerics [used]… the mosque loudspeaker for hate speech against the slain student and his family and … created hurdles for the people and another cleric to participate in the funeral,” said a senior Swabi police official.
A local imam had reportedly refused to lead Khan’s funeral prayers last Friday and a technician who was asked to do so in the cleric’s place was confronted by several people afterwards.
Earlier in the day, a large number of protestors took to the streets in the Zaida town, to defend Mashal as they chanted slogans “Be Gunah, Be Gunah (innocent), Mashal Khan Be Gunah.” Relatives and friends, political workers and representatives of civil society groups and the general public participated in the march.
It was probably for the first time in the area that a large number of women, with their heads covered, took part in a mourning procession that turned into a public meeting at a square in the town, reports the Dawn.
Mardan police on Sunday claimed to have arrested seven more suspects in relation to the case with the total number of those arrested reachin 20.
All the seven suspects were produced in the court of a magistrate on special duty on Sunday who remanded them in police custody for a day.
Meanwhile, Inspector General Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa on Monday said there was no evidence to suggest that Mashal committed blasphemy. (ANI)