Kerala professor's hand chopped off for offending faith

Kerala professor's hand chopped off for offending faith

Barbaric act

A college professor who framed a question allegedly defaming the Prophet had his right wrist chopped off by a group of unidentified persons at Muvattupuzha in Ernakulam district on Sunday morning.

Police said Prof T J Joseph was returning with his family after attending church when a group of people in a Maruti Omni waylaid him near his home at Muvattupuzha. Joseph was pulled out of his car and attacked with knives and swords. His right hand at the wrist was chopped off and thrown a few metres away. The professor was rushed to a Muvattupuzha hospital and later to a multispeciality hospital in Kochi where doctors are trying to stitch together his severed wrist. He has also suffered cuts and wounds in other parts of his body.

Joseph, a Malayalam professor at Newman’s College, Thodupuzha, is on bail after being arrested in April for preparing a question paper with alleged inflammatory references to Prophet Mohammed for an examination in a private college. He was suspended from service following protests from Muslim organisations. Joseph later apologised publicly for his “unintentional mistake”. Joseph’s mother said her son had been receiving threats for quite sometime.

Police have seized the van used by the miscreants and rounded off two people who were in it. However, sources said the miscreants had already escaped when the cops got to the vehicle. Those who have been picked up are activists of the Popular Front of India, formerly known as a right wing Muslim organisation called the National Development Front in Kerala.

The incident has been condemned by many organisations including the Indian Union Muslim League and the Jama’at-e-Islami which called for tough action against the culprits.  State Home Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan said all leads on the issue including terror angle were being investigated while Education Minister M A Baby regretted that some people had communalised the question paper issue.