The Peshawar District Court on Friday announced the death sentence for the main defendant in the murder of Asma Rani – more than three years after her murder – and acquitted two others.
District Judge Ashfak Taj announced the security sentence at Peshawar Central Prison, where the main defendant, Mujahid Afridi, was present. His brother Sadikula Afridi and another accomplice, Shahzeb, were released.
In his verdict, the judge found Mujahid guilty of murder and fined 0.3 million rupees. He also ordered him to pay 2 million rupees as compensation.
The victim’s family welcomed the verdict, saying they had waited nearly three and a half years for justice.
“When our sister was killed, we were completely devastated and screamed for justice. Today we are happy,” said Asma’s older brother, Mohamed Imran. He also thanked the courts, police, and government.
The deceased was a third-year medical student and was shot dead in Kohat in January 2018 for refusing a marriage proposal.
According to police, Asma was visiting her family during a break in session when Mujahid and Sadikula opened fire on them after she rejected her marriage proposal and fled the scene shortly after. The victim received three bullets and was taken to a nearby hospital, where she identified Mujahid as the attacker before dying of her wounds.
He later fled to the United Arab Emirates and was arrested after Interpol released a red report at the request of the Pakistani government. He was repatriated to Pakistan in March 2018.
In April 2018, at the request of Asma’s brother, the Peshawar Court ordered the transfer of the Peshawar case from Kohat. He claimed that the accused belonged to an influential Kohat family and it was impossible for the applicant and his family to continue the case there.