PESHAWAR: A mob beat a student to death on Thursday in Mardan after he was accused of sharing blasphemous content on social media. An angry mob beat Mashal Khan, 25, with planks until his skull caved in and later shot him dead at the Abdul Wali Khan University Mardan. Mashal, a student of Journalism and Mass Communication, was murdered in his hostel. The incident took place at around 3pm when thousands of students kicked down the entrance gate of Hostel 1 and started searching for Mashal. One eyewitness said that Mashal tried to hide in someone else’s room. “He tried to run away, but he was caught by the crowd and was shot with a firearm in the stairs on the third floor,” the student who lived on the same floor, told Daily Times. The crowd had earlier seriously injured Abdullah, a friend of Mashal, who was also accused of spreading blasphemous material online. According to Muhammad Ali, the Hostel 1 warden, more than 3,000 students had approached the hostel and broken down the locked gates. “I had informed the police on campus, but the crowd had already forced their way into the hostel. The policemen were simply not enough to control the situation,” he said. Soon after the attack, more than a dozen students were taken into custody by police. Mardan DIG Alam Shinwari said that the deceased student was accused of managing facebook pages that allegedly published blasphemous material. He added that the student was badly injured by a large number of students, but he succumbed to a gunshot wound. “After severe torture that led his death, the charged students then wanted to burn his body,” he said. The university was immediately closed for an indefinite period as a circular informed all students about the postponement of examinations and classes. All hostels were vacated immediately. Fayaz Ali Shah, a teacher of the Journalism and Mass Communication Department, who met Mashal only hours before the incident said he was a “decent and obedient” student. “He was a brilliant student and had a good command over English language. Mashal was a well-mannered and polite student,” another teacher, requesting anonymity, added. A hostel friend, who requested not to be named for security reasons, claimed that the “issue” had been ongoing for quite some time. “Some students did not like Mashal’s way of thinking. Look at his facebook profile, he called himself The Humanist. He never lost his temper. Why would anyone want to kill someone like him?” he said.