LHC acquits two in 2014 Christian couple lynching case

LAHORE: Lahore High Court (LHC) Thursday acquitted two persons who were convicted for burning alive of a Christian couple in Kot Radha Kishan in 2014.
Shahzad and Shama Masih were burned alive in a brick kiln by a frenzied lynch mob for their alleged role in the desecration of the Holy Quran in November 2014.
Both husband and wife were brick kiln workers, and the woman, a mother of three, was pregnant at the time. Police had registered a case against 660 villagers after the incident. In 2015, an anti-terrorism court had indicted 106 suspected in the lynching.
In Nov 2016, the ATC sentenced five men ─ identified as Mehdi Khan, Riaz Kambo, Irfan Shakoor, Muhammad Hanif, and local prayer leader Hafiz Ishtiaq ─ to two counts of death for their involvement in the burning alive of the couple.
Eight others were also charged with involvement in the lynching and sentenced to two years each in prison.
A two-member bench of the LHC headed by Justice Muhammad Qasim Khan accepted the appeals of Muhammad Hanif and Hafiz Ishtiaq against the ATC’s 2016 verdict and acquitted them, while the appeals of three other convicts, Mehdi Khan, Riaz Kambo, Irfan Shakoor, were dismissed.

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