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Pakistani police say lynching organized by student's enemies

Associated Press logo Associated Press 4/06/2017 By ASIF SHAHZAD, Associated Press
FILE - In this April 22, 2017 file photo, members of a Pakistani civil society demonstrate against the killing of Mashal Khan, a student at the Abdul Wali Khan University in the northwestern city of Mardan, in Karachi, Pakistan. Police say the lynching of Khan falsely accused of blasphemy was organized a month ahead of time by other students. A report compiled by investigators says 23-year-old Khan, who was killed in April, was targeted by students who saw him as a political rival. (AP Photo/Fareed Khan, File) © The Associated Press FILE - In this April 22, 2017 file photo, members of a Pakistani civil society demonstrate against the killing of Mashal Khan, a student at the Abdul Wali Khan University in the northwestern city of Mardan, in Karachi, Pakistan. Police say the lynching of Khan falsely accused of blasphemy was organized a month ahead of time by other students. A report compiled by investigators says 23-year-old Khan, who was killed in April, was targeted by students who saw him as a political rival. (AP Photo/Fareed Khan, File)

ISLAMABAD — Pakistani police say the lynching of a university student who was falsely accused of blasphemy was organized by other students from his own secular political group who viewed him as a rival and faculty members who resented his criticism of the university.

The report from a police investigation into the April killing of 23-year-old Mashal Khan, obtained by The Associated Press on Sunday, will be filed in court later this week.

Blasphemy is punishable by death in Pakistan, and the mere accusation of insulting Islam or the Prophet Muhammad can spark deadly mob violence. Blasphemy allegations are often used to settle scores.

The police say Khan was seen by others in his Pashtun Student Federation as a rising star after giving an interview with local TV in which he complained about rising fees and poor performance among faculty. He had also organized protests, the report said.

Dozens of students and faculty took part in the lynching, which the police report said was planned a month ahead of time. After the killing some faculty members pressured students to support the blasphemy charges, which were unfounded, the report said. It said 57 people, including 12 university employees, would face charges in the case.

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