Hand chopping case: court reserves verdict

April 9, 2015 by  
Filed under newsletter-india

t j josephKochi, April 8, 2015: A court in Kochi on Monday reserved its verdict on the case of alleged Islamic fanatics chopping off the right hand of former college professor T.J. Joseph, saying more explanation is required from the accused.

The announcement of the verdict has been postponed.

Joseph, who was teaching at Newman’s College in Thodupuzha was attacked near his house in Muvattupuzha on July 4, 2010 by Popular Front activists who claimed the professor had included a question that insulted the Prophet in an examination.

Six main accused in the case, including the first accused, are still absconding.

The National Investigation Agency said in its charge sheet that the accused attempted to murder the professor with preparations akin to a terrorist strike. They had thrown a country-made bomb at the Joseph’s car to keep passers-by at bay and tried to kill the professor, who was accompanied by his wife.

The Kerala Police had named 54 activists of the Popular Front and the SDPI in its original chargesheet. The NIA took over the investigation on March 9, 2011, making it the first case the national agency investigated in Kerala.

The agency collected evidence against 37 accused but failed to find the main accused, Savad, who chopped off Joseph’s hand at wrist, and M.K. Nasar, the mastermind of the attack.

A chargesheet has been submitted against 31 accused. The trial was held in camera considering the sensitive nature of the case. The NIA produced 306 witnesses before the court.

Joseph’s wife Salomi, a key witness in the case, committed suicide even as her husband was fighting a legal battle to get his job back. The college management suspended him after the question paper stirred a controversy.

The NIA charge sheet says the accused were trying to disturb communal harmony and inciting their community members to violence. They acted like terrorists who conducts trial and imposes punishment on their own.

– manoramaonline

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