Sacked Kerala prof makes personal plea to management

In a letter sent through a relative yesterday, Joseph appealed to the managent of Newman college at Thodupuzha that he be reinstated in service on humanitarian ground as he had not committed any deliberate harm.

According to church sources, Joseph said his salary as a teacher was his only source of income to sustain his family and that his record as a teacher in 25 years had been unblemished as he had not committed any mistake deliberately.

He said nobody who knew him all these years would ever have called him a heretic or mischief monger. Joseph said to his great relief bishops, priests and nuns had visited him at the hospital after his right hand was chopped off (allegedly by Popular Front of India activists in retaliation for setting a question paper having derogatory reference to Prophet Muhammad).

Joseph, who was teaching Malayalam literature, was placed under suspension in the wake of the question paper row earlier this year and was dismissed from service on September 1.

The College authorities had so far justified the action against Joseph holding that it was necessary to assert the secular credentials of the educational institutions run by the church.

Wrtiers and academics, mostly of pro-Left circles, dubbed the action against Joseph as harsh and inhuman as the physcial assault he suffered at the hands of fanatics. Meanwhile, the Syndicate of the Mahatma University, to which Newman College is affiliated, is expected to look into the legal aspects of the action against Joseph at its meeting this week.

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