An anti-terrorism court (ATC) hearing the lynching case of university student Mashal Khan announced its verdict on Thursday, awarding life imprisonment to two accused and acquitting two others.

Former Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) councillor Arif Khan and Asad were awarded life in prison for their involvement in the lynching case. Two others namely Sabir and Izhar were acquitted. 

On March 12, the court had reserved its verdict on the current case pertained to four suspects who had absconded from court during the first trial. 

The punishment for the rest of the accused who were arrested was announced by an anti-terrorism court in Haripur on February 7 this year. According to the verdict, one person was awarded death sentence, five life imprisonment, 25 were jailed for four years each, while 26 were acquitted over lack of evidence.

On April 13, 2017, 23-year-old Mashal Khan was lynched and murdered by an angry mob at the Abdul Wali Khan University on the pretext of committing blasphemy. However, investigators found no proof of blasphemy and ruled that the murder was politically motivated.