A young and promising student in Pakistan has been lynched by an angry mob of his fellow students over alleged blasphemy this week.
Mashal Kha, the 23-year-old student of journalism and Mass Communication department of the Abdul Wali Khan University in northwest of the country is latest victim if this spree. The bizarre incident took place in the bright day light on the university premises in which another student was seriously injured by a vigilante mob for allegedly „publishing blasphemous content online”.
According to the police, the deceased student, Mashal, had been accused of running Facebook pages „which allegedly published blasphemous content“. “The charged students then wanted to burn his body, before police intervened. Video footage of the incident showed Mashal lying on the floor surrounded by men. The student was not moving and his body bore marks of severe torture. Men could be seen kicking his lifeless body and beating it with wooden planks.
Blasphemy carries the death penalty in Pakistan. In many cases, an accusation alone is enough to inspire vigilante action against suspects. This is not the first incident of the sort in the Muslim-majority country of over 200 million inhabitants when an angry mob or fanatic individual has taken the law in hands, and claimed the lives of others. A former governor, a federal minister and scores of common citizens have borne the brunt of this law.
Usually, it has been the minorities facing the wrath, but this time a Muslim man lost his life to the mob-mentality. Father of the deceased student told the local media that his son was not a ‘blasphemer’, and he just used to criticize the corrupt political culture of the country. The fact that this mob-lynching took place on a university premises, and youth were involved, one can easily predict a bleak future for the country in terms of law and order, and tolerance towards others’ opinions and rights.